By Olivia Hewitt
Buena Vista City Council chose Stanley Coffey to serve the remainder of Mayor Billy Fitzgerald’s term on council at Jan. 18 meeting by a 5-1 vote.
The vacant seat was created because Fitzgerald was elected mayor in November. City Council Member Steve Baldridge voted for John Butler, while everyone else voted for Coffey.
“I know how things work and what needs to be done,” Coffey said. “My goal is to see the council work as a team and show the citizens that’s what we’re doing.”
Coffey is a Buena Vista Rescue Squad member, who has held office in his community church for eight years. He also has worked for the Lexington Water Treatment Plant for over 16 years.
“I’m just tired of not seeing anything get done,” he said. “I think it’s a privilege to serve on the council, and I think my position is to better the city and get the citizens involved in the government.”
Coffey said he hopes to work with other council members on bringing more industry to the city.
“It used to be an industrial town,” he said. “We pulled it together then and I think we can pull it together now.”
At the Jan. 4 meeting, four Buena Vista residents made their case for the seat before city council members, according to city council minutes.
Coffey, Butler, Tim Petrie and Brent Styler spoke before the council on Jan. 4. Each candidate discussed how he would contribute to city council.
But Styler withdrew his application before council voted last Thursday.
Fitzgerald said he thought Coffey deserved the seat because he came in fourth during the November election.
“I don’t think it’s right to deny the citizens of what they voted for,” Fitzgerald said. “He got the next highest votes from the citizens, so I felt that he should get that seat.”
A longtime resident of Buena Vista, Coffey ran as a write-in candidate in the November election. He lost to Tyson Cooper, who filled the last of the three open seats.
Coffey will serve on the council until a special election on Nov. 6.