WEST JEFFERSON — The West Jefferson Board of Aldermen is back to being a five-member board after Rusty Barr was sworn in Monday, July 1 at the Board of Alderman’s monthly meeting. Barr fills the seat left behind by Brett Summey, who died May 16.
Barr ran against Summey in the 2015 election, losing with the flip of a coin after both men finished with 77 votes.
Alderman Calvin Green made the motion for the board to vote on Barr filling the seat, with Jerry McMillan seconding it. The board unanimously voted in favor of Barr.
Barr took the oath of office alongside his wife, Melissa, with West Jefferson Mayor Dale Baldwin performing the ceremony. Baldwin opted to take part since Barr’s grandfather swore in Baldwin as an alderman in 1967.
After the ceremony and applause from those in attendance, Baldwin said, “Looks like we have a new alderman.”
An emotional Barr took his seat in between Baldwin and John Reeves, before thanking Baldwin, Town Clerk Rebecca Eldreth and Town Manager Brantley Price for bringing him up to speed on what was going on at the meeting.
“It’s an honor to be representing my family and the town,” Barr said. “Dale’s put a lot of service into this town and it’s really an honor to be serving right her beside him, and the rest of these guys too.”
Stephen Shoemaker was the first to congratulate Barr on his appointment, adding that Barr was young and raring to go, which is what the board needs. Reeves added his congratulations, joking that it took a while for it to happen. Green echoed the sentiments of Shoemaker, saying it was a good thing for the board to get some young blood. Last was McMillan, who was also up for election in the 2015 cycle, who said Barr was obviously well-liked and qualified for the position.
According to Baldwin, Barr plans to run to keep his seat in the election later this year, since his seat is one up for election.