Wilmington City Council meets after tight race

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington City Council held their first meeting post-election Wednesday night where they discussed a range of issues, including residential parking in the downtown area.

After a tight race and some shake-ups to Wilmington City Council in last night’s election, things still remain unsure for two members. Councilman Paul Lawler, who lost by just six votes, says he isn’t throwing the towel in just yet.

Meanwhile, the newest member of the council says he’s ready to get to work. Kevin Spears got the second highest number of votes, 262 more than incumbent Neil Anderson, who managed to keep his seat by just six votes.

This means incumbent councilman Paul Lawler is out, at least for now.

Mayor Bill Saffo reacting to the news after the results came in.

“I know Kevin, I’ve known him for a long time as an advocate for the community,” Saffo said. “I know he believes about improving the quality of life for a lot of people in this community, and I think he’ll do a very good job.”

Saffo acknowledging that Wilmington voters are looking for change, after he beat challenger Devon Scott by just 630 votes.

“I could sense there was some frustration in the community in regards to growth,” he said,  “in regards to affordable housing, in regards to the infrastructure that we’re dealing with in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence.”

As a member of council, Spears says he wants to spearhead some of that change.

“I think I was the only person who talked about the safety of our communities,” Spears said, “so safe neighborhoods. And that’s what I’ve been fighting for for the past six or seven years. And that matters to everybody.”

Meanwhile, Councilman Lawler says he’s waiting for absentee votes to come in which could make or break Anderson’s six vote lead ahead of him.

New Hanover County Board of Elections is set to canvass the election results on Friday, November 15.

At tonight’s meeting, several issues were discussed and voted on. The first was renaming James b. Dudley Alley to Market House Alley.

The alley sits between South Front and Water streets, and the Historic Wilmington Foundation showed evidence that this was the name of the alley in the 1800s.

Council also voted to authorize a 12-month pilot study for the City of Wilmington’s residential parking permit program and to increase residential parking permits and fines.

Categories: Local, New Hanover, News

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