Real race for Oak Hill mayor: Commissioner Doug Gibson files to run for top post against Vice Mayor Linda Hyatt

Breaking News / Reported here 1st

Oak Hill Commissioner Doug Gibson and former Police Chief Diane YoungLinda Hyatt of Oak HillHeadline Surfer file photo / Doug Gibson, shown seated in this photo from last Aug. 1, when he led the vote to disband the city's scandal-ridden police force under Chief Diane Young, is now running for mayor against Linda Hyatt, vice mayor and commissioner, who was opposed to the police being shut down in favor of patrols by the Volusia County Sheriff's Office. Both have since said they are pleased with change.

 OAK HILL -- Saying he wanted to ensure the citizens of Oak Hill get to decide who the next mayor is, Commissioner Doug Gibson filed paperwork today to run for the top elected post. Vice Mayor Linda C. Hyatt did the very same thing earlier this month.

Gibson said a November showdown between the two is a win for the citizens of Oak Hill.

"I'm running for mayor against Linda Hyatt because I believe Oak Hill needs a choice," Gibson said. "Candidates should not just walk in to office."

Hyatt filed her paperwork earlier this month with the City Clerk's office, saying she wanted to continue the continuity sitting in for Cook who has been ill for a couple months.

Qualifying ends noon, Friday, June 8. Gibson, appointed last year when then-Mayor Darla Lauer resigned to move to Alaska, it set off a chain reaction with Mary Lee Cook moving up from vice mayor to mayor and Hyatt becoming vice mayor.

After the last municipal election, three of the five seats were not by voting of the citizens either because a candidate had no opposition or because in the case of Gibson, a seat had to be filled because of resignation. The current make-up of the board with only Hyatt and Cook having been elected is a first for the commission in modern history in that a majority was not seated by election.

Robert Livingston, a member of Oak Hill's waterfront committee board, took out papers last week or the commission seat 2 now held by Gibson.

So far, Hyatt's seat remains up for grabs with her intention to seek the mayor's seat held by Cook, who at 85, is not seeking another term on the commission.

The fee to run for any of the three open seats is $54, or 1 percent of $2,250 annual salary. Qualifying ends noon Friday, June 8, at City Hall.

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Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet newspaper serving the Daytona Beach-New Smyrna Beach / Sanford-Orlando metropolitan region via Florida's first around-the-clock newspaper was launched April 7, 2008, in New Smyrna Beach, initially as and Headline Surfer is a registered trademark of NSB News LLC. Headline Surfer® Publisher Henry Frederick, is recognized as one of Florida's top award-winning cops & courts reporters, who has received more awards for such coverage than any other reporter working in Central Florida. He's the top journalist in the Florida Press Club two years running with seven journalism awards for 15 breaking news and investigative stories, three blogs and top internet site. He's the only reporter to win awards for coverage of the Trayvon Martin slaying as well as the subsequent George Zimmerman murder trial acquittal in Sanford. He's also won state, regional and national journalism awards for his coverage of cops and courts fear 8 1/2 years at the Daytona Beach News-Journal, where he witnessed and reported on the execution of serial killer Aileen Wuornos and covered the civil trial brought by NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt's widow to keep his autopsy files sealed. Before that before he covered cops & courts for Gannett Suburban Newspapers / The Journal News in Westchester and Rockland counties in New York, where he won a highly-coveted Associated Press Award for breaking news. Before launching the 24/7 internet newspaper in 2008, he was an award-winning city editor for the Taunton Daily Gazette, in his native Massachusetts for two years, winning a national investigative award on municipal corruption. The first of Frederick's three books, for which he has secured publishing rights, is called "Creepy Ass Cracker" (840 pages, Xlibris), which will hit bookstores in September. His second book, "Wrestling ReWind," is expected to be published in January 2015. The third book is not yet titled.
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