A new commissioner will serve the City of Marianna in a few months. The citizens of Marianna voted the newcomer in last night.
In a 113 to 75 vote, citizens elected Allen Ward over Incumbent James Wise who has served more than 20 years on the commission.
Ward tells me he's excited for this opportunity and wants citizens to know whatever their needs may be, he is the vehicle to help get them there.
"There are a lot of challenges ahead," said Ward. "I look forward to meeting those challenges head on and I want to be a voice for the taxpayer. I am there to do what they want."
Ward is a Marianna native who currently works as a Maintenance and Construction Superintendent at Jackson Correctional Institution.
As commissioner, Ward says he intends to put a focus on developing the city.
He wants to try and bring both small and large business into the area to help it grow because he says business serves as a backbone for a city like Marianna.
"Business is a lifeblood of a community this size," said Ward. "We have to have business in order to have population; without population you don't have a city."
Ward says people have to have a job.
"And if they leave, they leave the city behind," said Ward.
Ward says he'll take the seat in June. Also on the ballot was a referendum regarding the city wanting to purchase the electric utilities of Florida Public Utilities Company in Marianna. With a more than 400 vote lead, citizens voted against the purchase.