By: Jeremy D. Wells
Carter County Times
The city of Grayson held a swearing in ceremony last Wednesday for the men and women who will be serving the community on City Council in the coming year. Four of those sworn in last week by Judge David Flatt – Derrick McKinney, Sudy Walker, Pearl Crum and Jerry Yates – are returning council members. The other two – 38-year-old Bradley Cotten and 28-year-old Troy Combs – are newcomers to council. They replace Pam Nash and Terry Stamper, both of whom chose not to seek reelection this year.
Both Cotten and Combs said they were looking forward to serving their community.
“I’ve always had an interest in political matters,” Cotten explained of why he chose to run for council. “I moved back to town, and lived here the last several years, and felt this was a great way to serve and try to help our community out.”
“Tonight was a real honor,” he continued. “David Flatt and I are really good friends. It was an honor to be sworn in by him, and to have my dad, my wife, and my two little boys here, it means a lot. I’m looking forward to the next two years and trying to help the city of Grayson the best that I can.”
“For me, what motivated me to run was, looking around, I noticed a lot of young people are not coming back here to live,” said Combs, who ran as a write-in candidate. “They aren’t getting involved in the community. As a young person myself I thought that it was necessary for me to try to get involved, and I saw this as an opportunity to do that.”
“I’ve lived here with these people, and watched them lead, and always admired and looked up to them,” he added. “I’ve seen them as my role models. Now I’m going to try to fill their shoes, so to speak.”
“I’ve got two young children,” Cotten added, building on Combs comments about young people who feel they need to leave the area to succeed. “I know, when they get out of high school, I want them to view Grayson as an option. To think, ‘I can make a life here. I can raise my family here. I can have a good life.’ I know, for me personally, I feel very blessed that I’ve grown up in this community and I’m raising a family here. I hope that kids their age will see this as an option as well.”
“It’s home!” Combs said, enthusiastically, when talk turned to why folks choose to return to eastern Kentucky after time away, or why they’d want to stay here.
“It’s a good place to raise children. I think that’s why a lot of people do stay here,” Combs continued. “Along with Bradley I want people to feel that they can do that here. Apart from that… I know that times have changed dramatically over the past ten years even, and I think, being younger, I can bring a new perspective and a new energy to city council, and I think that’s necessary.”
Both said they were eager to bring their experience to council and to learn from the sitting council members.
Cotten and Combs will serve in their first meeting with council on Tuesday, January 12 at 5 p.m.
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