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Fiscal hawk gets seat on council

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The Ellis County Press

OVILLA - When Councilman Bill Vansyckle stepped down to run for mayor this year and won, he left his Place 3 seat vacant.

Elected last year in his first run for public office, Vansyckle and a brand new council, having defeated three incumbents last year and one this year, appointed fiscal conservative "hawk" JoAnn Graham to the Place 3 seat.

Graham, who nearly ousted then-incumbent Councilman Mikel Davis in 2005, comes to the city council with ringing endorsements.

"When I ran on just a parks and recreation platform and heard JoAnn speak the way she did on lowering taxes, spending and being a fiscal watchdog, I literally decided to end my race then," said former Ellis County Press news editor Joey Dauben, who finished the three-way race in 2005 with four-percent of the vote.

"I endorsed her privately but kept my name on the ballot, but she was a godsend. She walked the walk when it came to a conservative platform."

Graham, meanwhile, will serve out the remainder of the term vacated when Vansyckle, a private investigator, stepped down.

"Ovilla has gained a huge victory in the fiscal conservative ranks with JoAnn Graham," Dauben said.
On May 9, Davis, after retiring from public office two years ago, made an attempt to win back a council seat and lost. Mayor Bill Turner, whom Vansyckle and fellow Councilman Richard Dormier vied to succeed, retired after several terms.

Vansyckle, who attributed his win on the seat to his grassroots approach going door to door to basically every home in Ovilla.

"I faced their questions and concerns in person and brought my stand to them," said Vansyckle.

Turner’s allies were defeated last year when Vansyckle’s political faction, swept the swept the three seats up for re-election. This year, the last two remaining incumbents, Dormier, running for mayor, and Councilman Ralph Hall, were defeated, giving Vansyckle’s base all six spots on the city council.

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