By Filedwagner, Rome News Tribune
Nov 8, 2023
Cave Spring's former mayor, Dennis Shoaf won the Post 1 council seat
Cave Spring’s former mayor Dennis Shoaf won the Post 1 seat on the Cave Spring City Council on Tuesday, beating out incumbent Tom Lindsey and political newcomer Jonathan Mills.
Post 2 incumbent Joyce Mink retained her seat to start a new term in January after besting challengers Nancy Fricks and Michael Baxter.
Shoaf is a former city council member who served as mayor from 2016 until 2019. He captured 106 votes to Lindsey’s 89 and Mills’ 19.
Mink was appointed to the council in 2017 and won a full four-year term in 2019. She garnered 110 votes compared to 72 for Fricks and 32 for Baxter.
Both Shoaf and Mink cited the city’s recent purchase of the former Cave Spring Elementary School as an important focal point going forward.
“We have to find a substantial use for that building,” Shoaf said.
He said he’s not up to speed on all the details yet, but he wants to ensure it will be financially sustainable. He also hinted at getting “some folks up in Rome” involved once he is seated and working with the other council members.
Mink said her push for a town hall to discuss the building’s use — attended by about 300 people — was likely a big factor in her re-election. There were some good suggestions, she said, “and I want to be sure their voices are heard.”
With over 60,000 square feet in the complex, Mink said there will be room for some community space even if a portion is leased out to businesses. The gymnasium would make a wonderful facility for the city’s children, the former teacher said.
“And we have a substantial senior population in town; I would love to see something for the seniors,” she said.
Mink also said she wanted to be in office as the city transitions to a city manager/council form of government, to be sure the new manager gets the training and support he needs.
Nick McLemore was hired into the role in July and Mink said it’s working well. The city clerk is happy there’s a full-time administrator on board, she said, and McLemore is showing that he’s committed to the job.
Mink is too: “I’m retired. I have the time. I do things with my children and grandchildren, but I love Cave Spring and I also want to do things for my community.”
Shoaf expressed similar goals in wanting Cave Spring to be a place that’s responsive to its residents and positioned well for the future.
One of his first projects, he said, will be to advocate for a program that lets people opt to round up their water bill payment. The extra money would be used to help people who can’t afford their water bill.
“It may seem minute, but I think it could be beneficial,” he said.
But the main thing he wants to do — and why he feels so many people urged him to run — is to reestablish partnerships with the City of Rome and Floyd County.
“We need to build these relationships back — and to have good relationships in the council,” Shoaf said.