Robert Crawley and Brian Hander officially became the newest members of the Denison City Council Monday afternoon.

The newly elected council members were sworn in following a brief session of the governing bodyt to canvass the results of the recent election and declare them official.

Crawley received a total of 295 votes in his uncontested race landing him the position of district four, place four.

“It is exciting to have the opportunity to serve our great community,” Crawley said. “I can see it is going to come with a lot of responsibility. I look forward to doing a good job for our community — to do everything we can to bring new industry and new businesses to town to help support our tax base.”

Hander picked up 625 votes earning him the place six, at-large seat. His opponent, outgoing council member Rayce Guess received 460 votes.

“I am excited to be on team Denison, to get us to the next level,” Hander said. “It’s a good time to be in Denison, Texas. All my family is from here. I was really excited to serve the community that has given so much to our family. I think it is important for everyone to want to help their community. Our biggest thing is going to be our infrastructure.”

After being sworn in, the two men took their seats on the council to cast their first votes for Teresa Adams to be mayor pro-tem for a one-year term.

Mayor Janet Gott spoke about the council members who were vacating their respective seats, starting with Michael Baecht, who was leaving to pursue other endeavors.

“He has had the unique opportunity to serve when we were in the middle of a recession,” Gott said. “Then he got to serve when things were moving and looking great. He gave an immeasurable contribution to the planning of THF park. He has always been an active, engaged council member. Michael, there are not words to tell you how much we appreciate all you have done and continue to do. You will be missed.”

Gott said Guess, who was not in attendance, brought a “different dynamic” to the council.

“He was part of an historic election last year,” Gott said. “Although his tenure was short, he will continue to be engaged in the community. He is a very active member of the community. He will continue to make a difference wherever he serves. I wish he were here so we could tell him we appreciate his service.”

Richard A. Todd is the Denison-area reporter for the Herald Democrat. Contact him at