The City of Dearing will have a new mayor and half of the city council will be replaced come January. Qualifying for the town's elections ended Friday, and only one person qualified for mayor, Sean Kelley, owner of Kelley Business Printers.
Mr. Kelley is hoping to make a few changes to the way the city government has been run in the past.
"I'm looking forward to it. I'd just like to see Dearing be a little bit more proactive rather than reactive," he said. "It seems like we don't really look real long range."
Also, four people qualified to run for the town's four city council spots. Incumbents Daisy Ansley and Allen Axon will return to the council. Newcomers Judson Story and McDuffie Mirror Staff Writer Kristopher Wells will begin work on the council next year.
Mrs. Ansley is excited about the changes to the council. She hopes the new faces will help make a difference for the town.
"I think we're going to have a good crowd in there. I hope we can have some good changes made in Dearing," she said. "...I think we have some new people, so I hope we can work together to get things done."
Dearing is a quiet place to live, according to Mr. Story, a member of the Dearing fire service for 12 years. He thinks fostering growth in the town is something he will have to study.
"I'm just giving my input into the city and see what happens. I just like Dearing, I've lived here for years," he said. "...It's a nice quiet city, that's why I moved there. I'd like to see it stay like that. As far as growing, I'm not against it, but I'm not 100 percent for it. I just wanted to see, look at the inside."
As for Mr. Wells, the move into public service was a natural step. He has lived in the area his entire life and wants to see the town fulfill its potential.
"I think the people of Dearing have the ability to really put this town on the map. There are so many great things we have going for us," he said. "I just hope to make a positive difference for all of my friends, family and neighbors through my term on the council."
Mr. Kelley hopes the infusion of young blood on the council will help move things forward.
"We've got some young ones this time," he said. "I've got nothing against the older folks, but you look at Scott Dean taking over down there in Harlem, and he's done a lot of good things. I think it's just time to see what the younger folks can do for a while."
The Harlem mayor even helped out with Mr. Kelley's campaign.
"Scott Dean supplied my campaign fund. He paid my $1 to sign up," Mr. Kelley said. "I've been doing business with them in Harlem forever. I told him I was considering running for mayor, and he thought it was a good idea. So, he whipped a dollar out of his pocket."
The new council members will replace the retiring Mayor Ralph Menees, Mayor Pro-Tem Bobby Aldred and Councilman T.E. Newby. Incumbent Councilman Allen Axon could not be reached for comment.