This summer, South Bethany’s election cycle saw the retirement of two active town council members: George Junkin and Tim Saxton.
“We need to thank them for hard work,” Mayor Pat Voveris said in May. “This is no easy gig sitting here.”
The council officially honored Junkin and Saxton their hard work, diligence, reliability and “long hours of dedicated service to the Town of South Bethany.”
Both men said they’ve enjoyed serving the Town.
Junkin served on the council for six years, starting in 2010, including 3.5 years as secretary. Before joining the council, Junkin served the Canal Water Quality Committee (founded in 2007) for about five years. He chaired that and the Sea Level Rise & Storm Surge Committee (founded in 2013), to which he dedicated many hours of scientific study and grant proposal writing.
After the completion of a sea-level rise vulnerability assessment this spring, the SLRSS Committee was disbanded, and its initiatives were moved to the Planning Commission.
“I’ve enjoyed working with most of the people here,” Junkin joked, saying he’ll continue helping with water-related initiatives.
“I will continue to be working on things, because I’m a Curious George and it’s in my nature,” he joked. “When Barbara says, ‘Where are you going?’ I say, ‘I’m going Curious George-ing.’”
Junkin also brought the concept of building with freeboard to the Town of South Bethany.
Saxton served four years, from 2009 to 2011 and 2014 to 2016, serving both times as council treasurer, as well as being the founder/chair of the Budget & Finance Committee.
“I came back because there was unfinished business. I started things during a very rough time … made some difficult decisions,” Saxton said in May. “I came back because some things weren’t done that we started in those two years. I’m very pleased to say they’re done. So I feel I can walk away.”
Besides keeping a tight eye on the budget, he finalized the policy and implemented funding and practical application of the Capital Asset Replacement and Maintenance (ARM) Reserve. He said he believes the Town is financially comfortable enough to not need tax increases for many years, depending on the will of future councils.
“This town is fiscally sound. And it’s sound because the policies were put in place” that transcend individual town councils,” he said. “They’re what we are to live by, and that is very important to me. … You’re in good hands with the group that’s coming.”
Residents and the council applauded the retiring council members.
The two new council members, Tim Shaw and Don Boteler, ran uncontested in the 2016 election, as did Voveris to remain mayor.