Brownstown council candidates vow to listen in contested race

The candidates for the only contested town council seat in Brownstown this year believe they have something people living in a small town both want and need.

That would be someone willing to listen to the concerns about infrastructure, safety and economic development residents of the county seat might have and then deal with those issues.

“I appreciate when people talk with me about issues and ask me to consider their input,” Republican Bethany Brewster said.

Brewster was appointed to the Ward 2 seat this year by a caucus of precinct committee members after then-councilman Ben Lewis moved out of town. She faces political newcomer James “Jim” Weesner Jr., a Democrat.

Weesner said he wants to be able to hear about any issues facing the town.

“And being able to hear from those presenting both sides of an issue are important,” he said. “There’s value in everyone’s opinion. Being able to listen to what others have to say is key to making good decisions, especially for the town.”

Brewster said it has been a wonderful experience learning the mechanics of how town government works and being put to work on the park board and other projects, such as the pool renovation project.

The five council members in Brownstown must live in their respective wards, but registered voters cast ballots for all five wards every four years.

John Nolting (Ward 1) and Sally Cate Lawson (Ward 5), both Republicans, and Bill Sweeney (Ward 4), a Democrat, all are running unopposed.

Ward 3 Councilman C.J. Foster was defeated in a Republican convention this summer by newcomer Matt Smith, who does not have a Democratic opponent in the general election.

Nolting, the current council president, is seeking a second term. Lawson recently was picked by a caucus of precinct committee members to fill the vacancy created when Dustin Steward moved out of town.

Democrat Clerk-Treasurer David Willey also is unopposed.