The only candidate running in the upcoming May election for a seat on the Newark city council arrived ahead of time.
Last Thursday the council voted to appoint Dan Sessler to fill the void left by former place 4 city council member Chana Massey. Massey moved out of city limits and had to resign.
The early appointment will allow Sessler to get started ahead of time, and allow the council to fill all five seats until the election.
“I’ve always been involved in the city,” Sessler said. “I saw an opportunity to run for council and a chance to get more involved. I’ve seen a lot of improvements made to the city of Newark and the good job being done and I wanted to be a part of it.”
In his upcoming term, Sessler said roads, along with water and sewer, will be the major issues facing City Hall.
“There’s a lot that still needs to get done in Newark,” Sessler said. “And we have a limited income to work with because this is a small community.
“This is a great council. It’s a working council. Everybody does volunteer work. The council gets out and digs ditches, shovels water. Everybody puts in time with no pay whatsoever.”
Even with the appointment of Sessler, the council will be short one member after the election. Longtime council member and mayor pro tem Laura Pixler, whose term ends in May, decided not to file for re-election.
“I hate losing (Massey and Pixler),” said Mayor Matt Newby. “They were both very involved and motivated.”
Sessler said he hopes the council can find someone to appoint to the soon-to-be empty seat.
Newby echoed the sentiment.
“I’d like for there to be a full house,” Newby said. “I think it’s better because more people bring more ideas to the table. It’s easier to come up with solutions to problems when more people are working together.
“I hope someone steps up and wants to get involved.
“We’ve been fortunate that the council we’ve had is hands-on. They are all willing to take on projects and challenges.”
Sessler has decades of experience in the corporate and the television and broadcast equipment industry. For 23 years he worked for Harris Corp., part of a select team formed in 1998 that helped broadcasters transition from analog to digital television.
He moved to Newark about 10 years ago. He’s the president and general manager of RF Specialties of Texas, a company that sells equipment to radio and television stations. He’s been married to his wife Cindy for 32 years. They have three children, J.D., 19, Jelayne, 26, and Jonette, 28.