CRESTVIEW — When the new City Council meets April 1, three of the five members on the dais will be new.
Defeated incumbents and candidates vowed to remain involved in civic affairs, joining a distinguished list of previous elected officials active in the community.
Appointed by the city council last year, City Clerk Betsy Roy held on to her position following stiff competition by real estate agent Wanda Davis, winning by 24 votes.
Davis said she received so much support from voters that she wants to continue her quest to "take back" the community from perceived "outsider" intent on changing the city’s character.
"As a Realtor who sells in Crestview, I know people buy homes in Crestview because we're Mayberry. Mayberry R.F.D. — that's us," Davis said.
"I want my town cleared up. I heard some remarks from behind that (city council) desk that made me hurt. Will they be seeing me? You bet! I hope the people that are in there are ready to make some positive changes."
Outgoing Council President Benjamin Iannucci III, defeated by retired construction project manager Joe Blocker, also promised to remain active as a citizen.
"I won't stop going to meetings. My involvement with the city is not going to stop," Iannucci said. "I'll keep going to the meetings and I'll let them know when I disagree with the direction they're going and I'll let them know when I agree with them."
He promised to continue supporting the Family Entertainment Center arts and sports complex he proposed.
In Laurel Hill, Mayor Joan Smith was defeated in her bid to return to the city council but likewise promised to remain involved in the community.
"I don't have the problems some people do about losing. I've got nothing to be ashamed of or hide," Smith said. "I'm just proud that we have a council that is workable."
Smith and Iannucci said that they would be able to accomplish more as private citizens without the restrictions placed on elected officials.
"You don't realize until you're on the council how handcuffed you are with certain things you can or cannot do based on (Sunshine) laws," Iannucci said. Open-meetings laws, in most cases, ban secret meetings among public officials.
"Our hands were tied sometimes," Smith said. "I like working together: People working together, that accomplishes so much. I'm proud of what we accomplished, and I'll do whatever I can to help our city."
Unofficial results with all seven precincts reporting.
Crestview voter turnout: 1,324 of 12,652, or 10.5 percent.
Crestview City Clerk
Wanda Davis 557
J.T. Kinsey 163
Betsy Roy 581
Crestview City Council, Pct. 1
Joe Blocker 494
Landrum Edwards 353
Benjamin Iannucci III 424
Crestview City Council, Pct. 2
Bill Cox 540
Shannon Hayes 742
Crestview City Council, Pct. 3
Charles Baugh Jr. 536
Mickey Rytman 762
Laurel Hill voter turnout: 115 of 341, or 33.7 percent
Laurel Hill Mayor
Robby Adams 69
Mike Blizzard 46
Laurel Hill City Council (top two winners will be seated)
Larry Hendren 91
Johnny James 83
Joan Smith 33
Contact News Bulletin Staff Writer Brian Hughes at 850-682-6524 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @cnbBrian.