Van Buren Mayor Bob Freeman pledged a fresh start with no more negativity after being re-elected to his third four-year term, which he says will be his last.
"The campaign is over and it is time to move on," Freeman said as he thanked his friends and supporters Tuesday night at the Crawford County Courthouse. "I appreciate the opportunity to continue being the mayor for the next four years, moving the community forward with all the citizens."
Only 232 votes separated Freeman and Blake, who faced off for the second time in four years.
Freeman won with 52.31 percent of the vote to Alderman Max Blake’s 47.69 percent. Freeman garnered 2,627 votes; Blake 2,395.
"We’ve got projects coming up and more to come," Freeman said. "I want to thank the community for their support and say it’s time to move on."
Blake said he will help Freeman any way he can to move the city forward.
Freeman cited finishing the police department and senior inn construction and working with the Van Buren Chamber of Commerce on the economic development assessment which he has said is critical to community and economic development.
He also said the city will continue to develop the long-term plan for Van Buren parks and recreation and work with Crawford County on continuing the one-cent county sales tax.
Freeman also will be working with three new council members.
Jim Petty will replace Blake, who did not seek re-election to run for mayor. Petty was unopposed.
Alan Swaim defeated incumbent Johnny Ragsdale by a vote of 2,855 (60.08 percent) to 1,897 (39.92).
"I look forward to serving the city again," said Swaim, who retired from the city after 17 years. He served as director of the Field of Dreams Sports Complex and brought four youth baseball world series to Van Buren.
Darral Sparkman out-polled Scott Curtis 2,489 (55.10) to 2,028 (44.90) to replace retiring Alderman Teena Sagely on the city council.