Five candidates who qualified to fill the unexpired term of Emily Elliott in Position 2 on the Board of Mayor and Aldermen were interviewed Tuesday night, June 28, by the board, which will vote July 12 on Elliott’s replacement.
The candidates include two current members of the Bartlett Planning Commission, chairman Mandy Young and James “Jim” Lamb; former alderman Paula Sedgwick, who served for eight years and was defeated by current Alderman Kevin Quinn by 60 votes in the 2020 election; Shelby County government employee Brandon Weise; and Ed Brooks, senior project manager for Spirit Architectural Group.
Each candidate had five minutes to talk about themselves and their desire to serve in the office. Then Mayor Keith McDonald asked each candidate the same four questions, then the floor was open for aldermen to ask additional questions of any candidate.
The candidates, who are all long-time Bartlett residents, were put in a holding room so they didn’t know what questions were coming ahead of time.
One question asked if the candidate intended to run for Position 2 in the upcoming Nov. 8 election and whether they thought getting the appointment would give them an advantage in the election.
Weise intends to run for the four-year term in the election, but said if the board does not want an interim appointee to run for the full term, he would decide not to run. He believes the interim appointee would have an advantage in the election, as did the other candidates who answered that question, except Sedgwick, who said being appointed to Position 2 would not necessarily give that person an advantage in the Nov. 8 election.
All other candidates indicated they will not run for the full term, but may use the experience serving in the interim role to decide if they would like to run for alderman in the future.
Another question asked what they thought their greatest strength would be if chosen to serve on the board.
Weise said his ability to communicate with fellow board members and make decisions to move Bartlett forward would be his greatest strength.
Lamb said his greatest strength would be to study information to make smart decisions, rather than allowing decisions to be made based on feelings.
Young said she would voice her opinion and that her passion for what’s best for Bartlett would guide her as alderman.
Sedgwick said her past abilities and desire to see her home and her community “grow, grow, grow” would be her greatest strength.
Brooks said his experience over 20 years managing municipal projects would be the greatest asset he would bring to the board.