By Clint Confehr
Senior Staff Writer
A state-licensed, professional engineer, who's serving as chairman of Lewisburg's planning commission, has announced that he's a candidate for mayor in the city's May 7 election.
"It is because I love Lewisburg and its citizens that I want to contribute to its betterment," Jim Bingham said Thursday morning, having conferred several times with Mayor Barbara Woods. "With this in mind, I announce my candidacy for Mayor."
Woods is stepping aside. She was elected nearly four years ago in a race with Jerry Freeman, a former executive director of the city's Public Housing Authority.
"Mayor Barbara Woods is a friend of mine and I am proud of her efforts on behalf of Lewisburg," Bingham said. "Her accomplishments are many. I appreciate our council for keeping us sound financially."
Woods' term may be remembered as when recycling became one of the solutions to a recurring issue regarding Cedar Ridge Landfill. She succeeded Bob Phillips, who was elected 16 years ago over a candidate who defeated Bingham in a contentious race only four years earlier.
"Someone wrote a long time ago, 'It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,'" Bingham commented in his announcement. "The last few years have been a struggle for many of us in Lewisburg because of national and even worldwide economic conditions. In spite of that, I believe Lewisburg will not only survive, but will again thrive."
As an engineer, Bingham has complimented foresighted city leaders who ensured the city's adequate water supply, and his professional insights on engineering helped guide planning commissioners. He's abstained from voting on developers' requests when he openly declared a conflict of interest. As chairman of the planning commission, Bingham has experience at City Hall.
"We are fortunate to have so many hard working loyal employees who are dedicated to the betterment of this city," Bingham said. "There are many fine and talented volunteers who serve on boards and committees to enhance and move this city forward.
"If I am fortunate enough to be elected, I will do my best for every citizen," Bingham said. "I will answer any question to be best of my ability.
"If we all pull together, there is nothing that is good and noble that we cannot accomplish," he said.