Elections are important everywhere.
However, in recent years, a good number of residents of Summerfield have believed that the very future of their town is on the line each time the voters go into the polls to elect their leaders. In the election earlier this month, those who want to see more growth in that town of about 11,000 people were considered the winners.
On one side, there are those pushing to “Keep Summerfield Rural,” and, on the other, there are those who say they want to see more growth, more businesses and a greater variety of housing options.
As the newly elected leaders are about to get sworn in, it’s those who lean more toward growth than keeping things the same who are celebrating.
Members of each side of the debate state they’re in favor of “reasonable” or “controlled” growth – however, there’s a wide divide on questions such as development ordinances, what constitutes proper housing density and how welcome new large stores and other businesses should be in Summerfield.
Earlier this month, the “pro-growth” forces for the small town got a boost: Town Councilmember Tim Sessoms, a former mayor who runs a staffing and HR consulting business, defeated Gail Dunham – also a former mayor – in the race for the seat currently held by Summerfield Mayor BJ Barnes. (Barnes, who chose not to run for that seat again, was also seen as someone on the side of more development.)
Dunham is a feisty and outspoken opponent of many moves desired by the more growth-oriented forces in town. Sessoms, on the other hand, is seen by most as someone much more favorable to growth and development.
In Summerfield, the mayor only votes in the case of a tie in a Town Council vote – however, that job is extremely important in setting the agenda for the town and determining the direction of future development.
Sessoms pulled in 58 percent of the vote while Dunham got 42 percent in the mayor’s race.
There was other bad news for those who want less growth in town. The election saw Teresa Perryman – who’s long been an outspoken opponent of those pushing for things like a town water system and higher density developments – removed from her seat.
Town council candidates John Doggett and Janelle Robinson won Summerfield Town Council seats by beating out incumbent Perryman and candidate Greg Fox. That was also seen as a victory for the “pro-growth” faction in town. Perryman was seen by many to be the only remaining opponent on the Town Council of the growth that now looks very likely to come to the town.
No one who recently won or is in office favors anything beyond controlled growth for Summerfield. The newly elected council members both live on farms. The comments are conjecture fed from a few people who stoke the same fear. If more growth was intended, why didn’t it occur over the last 4 years? Because, it was never intended.
hey o’day!! can you please explain to me how janelle lives on a farm? she rents on land that is zoned residential. really, i reckon you can call apartments, controlled growth. lol. you waited four years for a reason, let’s see what happens in the next 3 months. i will wait, shouldnt take that long for ya. have a nice day.
Scott, you are way off base with your analysis on the future for Summerfield. I suspect because your source of infirmation is Gail Dunham and your friend Wendelkin. As it relates to growth, there is not a single person on council now pr the future council that is condering doing anything other than giving any item before the council a fair hearing and consideration. Water is an issue that everyone in the county places high on their list of concerns, everyone except the folks I mentioned earlier who along with their friends have been a divisive precense in our town. The voters made it clear in this election and the last their brand of sowing lies and misinformation is not needed in our community.
WHERE is todd rotruck ? WHERE am i ? As soon as my chinese replacement neurons arrive n install i will join the fray.
This is nothing more than an opinion piece. Looks as the source of info came from Don or Gail.
todd rotruck where r u ? The world needs civic minded people like u with construct / develop x perience. if u show i will show with donutz etc
Why are certain people in lockstep with BJ? Just because BJ says, something doesn’t mean it is true. Summerfield voted, and we will see if buyer’s remorse becomes an issue. Hopefully, the sheep who follow BJ will learn to look a little further beyond the nose on their face and look a bit further down the road. BTW who are Don and Gail, and does it matter?