Meghan George and Tristan Rader took the top two slots in Lakewood City Council's six-way at-large race last night, marking somewhat of a political shift in the city's representation.
Unofficial vote counts have incumbents Tom Bullock and Cindy Marx separated by 44 votes; Bullock is currently listed in third place, which would allow him to keep his seat.
Lakewood has three at-large (citywide) council seats, and all three were challenged in this election. The top three vote-getters secured the office.
Outwardly the race could easily be seen as a referendum on the representation in broad issues like the closure of Lakewood Hospital (unanimously approved in late 2015) and the citywide pit bull ban (passed in 2008 by a different set of council members that did include current rep Tom Bullock, mayor Mike Summers and Law Director Kevin Butler — but not taken up as a debate by the current council). George and Rader have promised to lend their vote to any pit bull ban reversal in the future.
Here are the unofficial City Council vote counts:
Meghan F. George 4,968
Tristan Rader 4,657
Tom Bullock 3,559
Cindy Marx 3,515
Ryan P. Nowlin 2,996
Brian M. Taubman 2,948
On another note, Lakewood voters approved an entirely new city charter last night. As they do every 10 years, a group of residents reviewed the charter a few years ago. In their work, they decided that they may as well overhaul the whole thing
— cleaning up language and clarifying administrative oversight. The document went from 60 pages to 40 pages.
Ward 4 Councilman Dan O’Malley said that the new charter will make business with the public more efficient.
This story has been update to more accurately reflect the members of Lakewood City Council in 2008 vs. today.
“There are some elements that I’m a little uncomfortable with, particularly the way the departments are codified,” he said. “But I will advocate for passage.”
Law Director Kevin Butler said there are two major changes in the charter: The first allows city administrators to add or dissolve departments as needed. A second requires ethics training for all city employees including the mayor and City Council members.