Henkel, Bryant win seats on Troutman Council
BY DEBBIE PAGE
Troutman voters re-elected Paul Henkel for another term on Town Council and elected Paul Bryant, who was appointed by the council in October 2016, for a four-year term in Tuesday's election.
The third seat up for grabs in the election will likely be determined by a drawing after incumbent Sally Williams and former council member Curt Rogers tied for third place, with each candidate receiving 121 votes.
The Iredell County Board of Elections officials will draw the winner’s name out of a hat at a date to be determined by the board if they remain tied after the results are certified.
Elections Director Becky Galliher is auditing the vote Wednesday, but the official canvass will not actually occur until November 17. The vote could change during the audit and canvass, and elections officials could also recount the ballots.
The Board of Elections is scheduled to meet on or about November 13. Even if a board representative pulls a name from a hat at that time, the result will not be completely official until after the canvass on November 17.
Six voters also chose write-in candidates in Troutman election, which attracted 168 of Troutman’s 1,977 registered voters.
Henkel, the top vote getter with 185 votes, has served on the council for 28 years. His priorities are attracting more industry and commercial development and to continue with residential smart growth “because, in my opinion, people attract business.”
Henkel also wants the town’s transportation plan to move closer to fruition and is excited the upcoming “branding” of Troutman, which will include the addition of wayfinding signs and murals.
“We also need to get a large advertisement online for Troutman as well as for people passing through to see Troutman as a place they’d like to visit or maybe some day to move here.”
Henkel sees Troutman’s biggest challenge as the explosion of residential growth in the area, which sometimes causes tension with existing neighborhoods. “You have to work through those things, and you’re not going to satisfy both groups, but you have to work out some sort of compromise.”
Bryant came in second place in the four-candidate race, garnering 153 votes. He was appointed by the council to fill Mayor Teross Young's seat after the council chose Young to succeed Ron Wyatt, who resigned after being selected by Republican Party officials to serve as Iredell County Register of Deeds.
Bryant’s goals for his upcoming term include smart but balanced business and residential growth for the town while maintaining public safety and working to reduce accompanying traffic issues.
He also wants to continue Troutman’s push for pedestrian walkability and unique quality of life Troutman offers. “We need to preserve the best of Troutman by maintaining quality town services, including the park and greenway expansion,” he said.
Bryant also believes the Town Council has an important role in encouraging greater economic development. “We need to reach out to interested parties that are looking for an environment to build and grow their businesses and try to bring them to Troutman so that they can find a place in our community and become part of our business home.”