(Red Oak) -- With his fifth term as mayor set, Bill Billings is ready to lead Red Oak on some big initiatives.
Billings defeated challenger Karen Blue in Tuesday's Red Oak mayoral matchup, 508-to-275. Despite his victory margin, Billings tells KMA News a win was never guaranteed.
"You know, I would say I would never take anything for granted," said Billings. "But, the fact is, I appreciate the support of the community, and the citizens of Red Oak, and the positive things that we've done. I know that we're doing good things, and in that, I have no doubt."
Billings attributes his win over Blue--a former mayor and Montgomery County supervisor--to a comparison of records.
"All I've tried to do is work for the good of the entire community," he said, "never any individuals or any private groups, or anything of that nature. I don't serve a small entity, I truly try to serve an entire community, and listen to everybody's cares and concerns."
Billings also appreciates that most of the current Red Oak City Council remains intact following Tuesday's elections. Scott Keith and Pete Wemhoff were unchallenged in wards 1 and 2, respectively, while councilwoman at large Jeanice Lester was also unopposed. Terry Coppa, who was appointed to the council earlier this year, defeated Brian Bills to gain his council seat outright. The mayor says having that continuity on the council is important.
"It gives us the opportunity start moving forward on some initiatives right away," said Billings. "There's a lot of things we're working on--housing, we'll continue to work on business development, and other things that we'll continue to be very progressive with. The important thing is, we get to start right away."
In addition, renovation of the city's outdoor aquatic center continues unabated, with an opening on Memorial Day, 2020 as a goal.