A new chapter for Coffee City politics

Tuesday, December 11, 2012 - 7:13pm

If you'll remember, members of the group called Concerned Citizens of Coffee City swept the election this November.

And last night the newly elected mayor and council members were sworn in at the city council meeting.

Even though there was some controversy about when they were to take office, all of that is over now.

And today we caught up with the new city government on their first day in office.

Ray Wakeman has lived in Coffee City for 30 years.

He's been on the City Council before, but Tuesday is his first full day as mayor.

"There's a lot of things that we need to look through.  And I've just now scratched the surface," Wakeman said.

And that surface is pretty rough.

As KETK has reported in the past, the city has been shrouded in a cloud of controversy.

But Wakeman believes those days are over.

"We don't like that kind of press, we want things to be positive here.  Coffee City is a very nice community to live in," he said.

With Tyler going wet and Coffee City's economy centering around alcohol sales, the new administration has their work cut out for them.

"I expect we will lose at least 40% of what we've been getting in the past.  So there will be some decisions that we will have to make to cut expenses," Wakeman said.

Wakeman and the new city council will also be working with the economic development council to get new business into the city...something he feels they haven't been doing well.

Pam Drost was a member of the council during the previous administration and she's glad she and her new co-horts see eye to eye.

"I really wasn't even welcome in the building.  The building has been locked, I've never been given a key or a code to the building," Drost said.

Wakeman also says he is allowing the people of Coffee City to have more of a voice from now on.

"Listen to the people.  The people are the ones that elect you," Wakeman said.

If you'll remember, a lot of the controversy before has been centered around 2 websites.  One a parody -- calling itself the Official website of Coffee City, and another sort of watchdog blog.

Mrs. Drost tells KETK, she hopes the government will now be transparent enough that those websites won't even be needed.


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