Former Pierson mayor steps down from city council race

IMAGE COURTESY OF THE TOWN OF PIERSON

Former Pierson Mayor Dale Barnhart ended his brief campaign for city council on July 1. He is withdrawing from the race for seat 2 of the city council due to his medical condition.

Barnhart’s exit from the race leaves three candidates for Seat 2: Lambert James “Jimmy” Anderson, the former head of the city’s public works department; Kelly Green; and Brandy Peterson.

Barnhart previously served most of two terms as mayor of Pierson from 1994 to 1998. He has been a lifelong resident of Pierson, with family ties to the area dating back to the 1860s.

During his tenure as mayor, the city council moved to its current City Hall location at 106 N. Center St. with an explosive celebration that included a re-enactment of a Civil War battle that took place In the region.

Barnhart also oversaw the opening of the Pierson Public Library at its current location and the opening of the area YMCA branch.

Barnhart’s tenure was not without controversy. He has come under fire several times for criticizing the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.

After a 1995 incident when then-Mayor Barnhart wrote a complaint to then-Sheriff Lt. Ben Johnson about poor response time in the northwestern town of Volusia, the city council passed a rule demanding that correspondence between city officials and others be expunged with city department heads. before they can be sent.

Barnhart resigned as Mayor of Pierson in September 1998 to run for Volusia County Council. The Piersonite was not elected to the county council, losing his candidacy to DeLandite Dwight D. Lewis.

The race for City Council seat 2 will appear on the ballots of Pierson residents. In-person voting will take place on Tuesday, August 23, and mail-in ballots for those who request them will begin shipping later this month. For more information on mail-in voting and upcoming elections, visit www.volusiaelections.gov.

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