New City Council steps up

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David Minton/DRC
Chris Watts, newly sworn in as mayor of Denton, looks back at the crowd filling the Council Chambers Tuesday at City Hall.
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Some election night exuberance spilled into the Council Chambers on Tuesday night as a standing-room-only crowd cheered and clapped after Chris Watts took his oath of office as Denton’s new mayor.

The transition of power took about two hours Tuesday evening with a reception, speeches and presentations to honor outgoing Mayor Mark Burroughs and City Council members James King and Pete Kamp, who was out of the country.

Burroughs and Kamp had reached their term limits. King, who had served two terms in Place 6, opted not to run again.

The council canvassed the election, making official the results from the May 10 election, which saw greater voter turnout for a local election than Denton has seen in some time. A total of 5,167 people, or about 8.5 percent of the city’s registered voters, cast ballots, including more than 700 absentee ballots.

Also sworn in were John Ryan in District 2, and Dalton Gregory in Place 5 and Greg Johnson in Place 6.

Typically, the council elects a mayor pro tem at the earliest opportunity after the election, as required by the city charter. But on a motion from Gregory and a second from District 4 council member Joey Hawkins, the new council agreed to postpone the decision until District 1 council member Kevin Roden returns from California.

He, two city staff members and a representative from the Denton Chamber of Commerce traveled to Southern California to visit Sriracha hot sauce maker Huy Fong Foods and a number of real estate companies that specialize in helping companies find sites to expand and relocate their businesses.

PEGGY HEINKEL-WOLFE can be reached at 940-566-6881 and via Twitter at @phwolfeDRC.

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