Evans takes office as Overton mayor

Outgoing Overton Mayor John Ed Welch issued the oath of office to newly-elected mayor C.R. “Coach” Evans during Thursday night’s regular city council meeting.

Welch served two terms before stepping down, but he will continue to serve the City as Place 4 city councilman, where Evans served two terms before running for mayor.

Evans won the race by a 2-to-1 margin, receiving 152 votes (76 percent) to opponent Place 1 city councilman Pat Beets’ 48 votes (24 percent). Beets retains his seat on the council, joined by John Posey and Philip Cox, who were both re-elected to their places.

Evans, who worked as a coach and mathematics teacher at Overton ISD for over 40 years, praised Beets for an honorable campaign and expressed gratitude to the voters for their support. He pledged to do everything within his power to improve the City of Overton for all residents.

“It’s humbling and a great privilege to be elected, it’s an honor that I take very seriously,” he said. “The community’s trust is something that I hold in high esteem and will do my best to show that it was well placed.”

Evans said his first goal as mayor is to meet with outgoing mayor Welch one-on-one to get a better picture of everything the role entails, and then to sit down with City Manager Joe Cantu to begin to tailor a plan to suit the City’s many needs.

“We’re going to prioritize what we, as the City, needs to be doing,” he said. “We’re going to look at everything, from anything that need to be repaired or replaced, to getting the most out of our staff and city employees.”

Evans cited the City’s ongoing sidewalk improvement projects, as well as plans for the sewage plant, as two endeavors he hopes to guide to a successful conclusion at the outset.

“We’ve also got some areas of improvement in how things look around town,” he said. “While we’re obviously going to prioritize matters of infrastructure such as water and sewage, things that are often behind the scenes, we’re also going to put a high priority on improving the appearance of the community.”

The downtown area of Overton, Evans said, is a vital facet of the City’s economic health, and an area he hopes to see improve under his watch.

“We want to look into strengthening the businesses that are presently there, while also finding a way to bring new businesses into downtown area and provide our residents with a downtown area they can enjoy and take pride in.”

Evans said city staffing is another area he plans to address in the early part of his tenure.

“We’ve got a lot of excellent people working for the city, but there are some areas where inexperience is a factor,” he said. “So we want to look at either getting people trained and certified in areas they need to improve and restructure some other areas.”

Growth is also a factor for Overton, both in area as well as population, and Evans said annexation is something he would like the City to pursue.

“We need to see some growth here, and that could very  well include annexing and expanding our city limits,” he said. “But, at this time, I don’t want to speculate where that might be.”

But the watchword for Evans is patience, he added.

“There a lot that needs to be done, and it’s not going to all get fixed overnight,” he said. “A lot of the obstacles we’re facing didn’t occur in a day, so they can’t necessarily be fixed in a day either […] but working together, I think we can continue to get this community back on the right course.”

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