LEMOORE — Newly-elected Lemoore City Council member Stuart Lyons just wants the Council to cooperate.
“I want my city council to get along. I want my city council to operate like a council should and not the way it has been,” he told the Sentinel Thursday.
Lyons was elected in Lemoore’s District A race Tuesday night, defeating Mayor Ray Madrigal.
“I’m a little bit surprised. I wasn’t sure I was going to win. I thought it was going to be close, but I figured the incumbent might have the upper hand. So I’m a little surprised that I won — pleasantly surprised,” Lyons said.
Lyons, like fellow councilman-elect Chad Billingsley who won in District C, is a Lemoore Volunteer Firefighter. Lyons, however, said that any perceived schism between the firefighters and not the main reason he decided to run for office.
“It was a combination of many different things. There wasn’t one defining thing. The turmoil between the City Council and the Lemoore Volunteer Fire Department was only a small part of why I decided to run,” he said.
Another reason he ran for office was because he was not happy with the “bickering and fighting” on the dais and wanted to help steer the council away from harmful rhetoric and “recall situations.”
“I just wanted there to be another option and I had the time, the passion and the commitment to give voters that other option,” he said.
Madrigal congratulated the two new council members on his Facebook page after the election but also expressed concerns in a comment to the Sentinel that the new-look council wouldn’t uphold the interests of the Lemoore Police Department , something which Lyons did not agree with.
“I think Police Chief Darrell Smith is doing a great job. I support the Lemoore PD. They do a great job,” he said.
Lyons, who has helped respond to multiple fire calls since election night he said, is eager to be sworn in and get to work doing what he can to enhance Lemoore’s “curb appeal.”
He said one issue he’s eager to tackle in the coming year is finding a way to fill downtown Lemoore’s empty storefronts with new businesses.