The fact that John Long will begin his administration with a majority of inexperienced council members and staff has not dimmed his enthusiasm for the job.

Monroe City’s mayor-elect, John Long, plans to hit the ground running when he takes office on April 19.

Long was the winner in a three-way race last Tuesday’s Municipal Election. With 200 votes, Long beat challengers Robert E. Dowell II and Richard “Dick” Daggett. Dowell received 193 votes and Daggett received 94.

He said one of his first actions will be the appointment of council members to various board positions including park board, economic development board, emergency management, etc.

“I need to talk to each of the new council members soon to find out what position they feel would be the best fit for them and then be ready to make appointments at the first council meeting,” Long said.

With the retirement of council members Mark Greening and Roc Buckman and city clerk Gary Osbourne the city lost 90 plus years of experience. Current council members Jake Osbourne and Connie Painter are finishing one-year terms and Long served on the council for a year.

The fact that Long will begin his administration with a majority of inexperienced council members and staff has not dimmed his enthusiasm for the job.

“Our current city government is in good shape and we have a strong and competent city administrator in Jackie Pangborn,” said Long. “We are all starting out new. I am sure we will have our trials and tribulations but I believe there will not be anything we cannot overcome. I hope the citizens will be patient with our inexperience.”

Long said he is looking forward to working with the newly elected council members. “I don’t think I could have hand-picked better people to work with,” he said of the new council members.

Long said he feels the most pressing problems include the city’s water and sewer systems and streets.

“The city is presently having issues with the water and sewer systems. We are going to have to work on these issues now in order to meet state specifications,” he said. “Every citizen wants good streets. I assure residents that the city does have a street repair plan in place. I ask them to be patient and remember we have to work within a budget.”

Long says he want to “leave the city in better shape” when he leave office than it is today.

“I encourage those who have issues with the city to step up and volunteer to assist us in eliminating those issues. I also issue an invitation to any resident who is physically capable to volunteer to step up and volunteer to help us in upgrading the city,” Long said.

Long will be working with new council members Jeremy Moss, Dane Foster and Melissa Hays.

Moss won a two-year term in Ward 1 after handily defeating challenger Jerry M. Best by vote of 164 to 26.

Foster beat out three other candidates to win a two-year term in Ward 2. Ward received 64 votes to beat challengers Linda Greening’s 47 votes; Andrew Colombini, 19; and Terry W. Tesson, eight.

Proving that every vote counts Melissa A. Hays beat Ralph J. Lemongelli by a single vote to confirm the Ward 3 seat. Hays received 67 votes, while Lemongelli got 66 and Todd A. Harsell received 19.

Incumbent Tully Tonsor beat Lucas Lloyd by a vote of 293 to 104 to serve another three-year term on Monroe City’s Special Road District Board.