Sherman voters chose Sandra Melton to serve as their newest council member for the At-Large Place 2 seat during Tuesday’s election.
Melton received 54.03 percent of the votes cast — 4,580 in total — in the city’s municipal election, which saw her running for the position against former Sherman Planning & Zoning Commission member Joe Gilbert.
“I’m very excited and ready to get to work,” Melton said Tuesday night, before adding she felt good about how the election went overall. “I would like to thank all my friends and family who have stood by me and gave me the support that I needed through this.”
Melton spent 22 years working for the city before retiring and going to work for the school district, where she is now a library associate at Neblett Elementary School. During a candidate forum last month, Melton said she’d like to see the city place an emphasis on growing its children into leaders. After winning election to the council in her first time running, Melton said she already has some items she’s hoping to find out from the city.
“I really want to look into where our money is going for our stormwater (program),” she said. “I just want to look into where our money is being spent.”
In his first run for a council seat, Gilbert received 3,897 votes or 45.97 percent of the ballots cast.
“Obviously, we’re disappointed,” Gilbert said of the results. “We love Sherman and we’ve spent our lives here and we want to contribute to Sherman’s success, but at the same time, just because I’m not on the city council doesn’t mean I can’t be a productive member of society and a positive influence on the city.”
Gilbert previously served two terms on the Sherman Planning & Zoning Commission, including three years as its chairman. He is a partner with Century 21 Dean Gilbert Realtors and has a development and construction company, Joe Gilbert Construction. He said he hasn’t yet considered the possibility of running for council again in the future but did express support for Melton.
“I wish Sandra nothing but the best, and I hope that the city council continues to make wise decisions on behalf of the community,” Gilbert said.
Melton is taking over the seat from Jason Sofey, who is completing his second full term on the council and was not eligible for re-election to that position. Sofey was first elected to the council in November 2012 and re-elected in November 2015.
The election results are unofficial until the Sherman council canvasses the votes and installs its new members during its Nov. 19 meeting. Grayson County election officials will count any outstanding mail-in ballots that are received Wednesday, though they are not expected to change the results of the race.