ASHTON – The city has a new mayor in the form of city councilman and former Ashton Police Chief Tom Mattingly.
Mattingly ran unopposed during Tuesday’s election where he garnered 233 votes with 146 of those coming from District 4 while 87 ballots were cast in his favor from District 5. Longtime mayor Teddy Stronks did not seek reelection , and there were no write-in candidates.
Mattingly says that his wife, Marylou, and their six children are happy for him.
“They kind of like it. I think my wife voted for me. She said she did,” he said.
Mattingly had served as the city’s police chief for 28 years. He will be the second police chief to serve as an Upper Valley mayor in recent years. In 2017, St. Anthony residents elected their former police chief Don Powell to serve as mayor.
Mattingly’s new role as mayor leaves a vacancy on the Ashton City Council where he had been serving since last year. In 2017, Mattingly was elected to a two-year term that would have continued through 2020.
City Clerk Cathy Stegelmeier said that Mattingly will continue to serve as a councilman until Jan. 8 when he is sworn in as mayor. After he is sworn in as mayor he will then begin the process to nominate someone to serve the remaining time in the two year council seat.
“Then the council will need to approve or deny that person,” she said.
Mattingly said he is very aware of the council vacancy created as a result of him being elected mayor.
“I’m still contemplating who to appoint. I’m going through some names and that. I’ll have to decide what I’m going to do,” he said.
For now, Mattingly is considering what projects he’d like to start as mayor. He wants to improve the crossing lights for students at both North Fremont High School and Ashton Elementary School.
“There’s some there, but they need to be updated to get some safety there for kids,” he said.
Mattingly says he plans to continue to work with the Fremont School District in providing it with a softball field at the city’s park. The district approached the city about doing so earlier this year in hopes of acquiring and improving it for North Fremont’s girls’ softball team. A volunteer organization is working to build a boy’s baseball field at North Fremont High School, and the district wants to create a similar one for the girl’s softball team.
For now, Mattingly is happy to continue serving as a city councilman through the rest of the year. He will be in attendance during the city’s upcoming council meeting scheduled at 7 p.m., Wednesday, at city hall located at 714 Main Street. The meeting is open to the public.
For more information on the meeting, call 208-652-3987.