Zander, Jones elected to Archer commission

Published: Tuesday, November 6, 2012 at 9:56 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, November 6, 2012 at 9:56 p.m.

Archer voters returned incumbent Vice Mayor Marjorie Zander to the Seat 2 post on the City Commission Tuesday, while Doug Jones will replace outgoing Blanche Parker as the Seat 1 commissioner.

Zander, 49, won 52.5 percent of the vote with 239 votes to 216 for James Mayberry. Jones won with 51.9 percent of the vote — 251-233 — over Laurie Costello.

Jones, who works in information technology, previously served on the city’s recreation and energy efficiency committees.

Jones supported the commission’s approval of an industrial rezoning for 160 acres along a rail line as a way to bring jobs, expand the city’s tax base and draw business customers for a planned sewer system.

Jones said during his campaign that the city needs infrastructure improvements, including sewer, to facilitate growth. He said the city needs to update its comprehensive plan in anticipation of growth.

Jones also advocates restarting the city’s recreation programs for youths.

“I want to thank the citizens of Archer for putting their faith in me to help lead Archer, hopefully into prosperity going forward,” he said.

Jones and Costello both said the city should maximize grants and outside funding to limit the financial impact of the sewer system.

Costello, 55, a real estate broker, criticized the commission’s handling of the application.

On Tuesday night she thanked her supporters and urged them to hold commissioners responsible for issues that she said include a lack of responsiveness to residents at meetings and mistakes in water bills.

Zander, 64, a semi-retired teacher, said she was conflicted by the rezoning decision over concerns about pollution and traffic congestion but supported it because the city needs jobs. She also supported the sewer project as a way to draw businesses and address environmental problems caused by failing septic tanks, but said the city has to work to ensure that rates and connection fees are affordable.

Mayberry, 41, a case manager for a law firm, said Tuesday night that he wishes Zander well and will support the city any way he can, including another run for City Commission in the future.

“I still would like to see getting help for the elderly and getting a recreation program in hand,” he said.

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