TEASER Taylortown

Change is coming in Taylortown.

On Tuesday, voters elected two new members to the town council and sent two incumbents — including longtime Mayor Ulysses Barrett Jr. — packing.

Barrett has been on council since 1991, four years after the town held its first election following incorporation in 1986. He has been mayor for most of those 28 years.

But over the last few years, calls for a change in leadership and direction of the town have grown louder.

The town has been plagued by problems with its aging water system, with prolonged outages, though the town did receive $3.6 million in federal financing that includes a $2.6 million grant and a $1 million low-interest loan to making improvements to the beleaguered water and sewer system.

But the need for change runs deeper that just utilities.

Newcomer Bridget Cotton was the top vote-getter in Tuesday’s election with 167 votes, according to unofficial returns from the Board of Elections.

She is moderator Facebook page called Taylortown Speaks.

“Because of you I have been officially elected as Taylortown town councilwoman!” she wrote in a post on the page Tuesday night. “I can't express how much I appreciate EVERYONE supporting me with my campaign with their actions, deeds, donations, and prayers!!”

Cotton had urged Taylortown residents to get to the polls to vote the day before the election.

“You said you want to see a change,” she wrote. “But if you don't voice your choice, you can't complain!”

Three incumbents finished second, third and and four, respectively — Marvin Taylor with 154 votes, Mitchell Ratlif, 143, and current Mayor Pro Tam James Thompson, 137.

Gary Brown, another newcomer won the fifth seat with 124 votes.

Barrett finished sixth with 97 votes, followed by incumbent Eddie Lloyd with 81 votes. The last time Barrett finished sixth was in 1989, when he made his first bid for council.

Pine Sage resident Jim Moore, who mounted a last-minute write-in campaign less than a week before the election, received 66 votes.

This is a developing story that will be updated online and in the Sunday edition of The Pilot.

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