Arab Mayor Glad Not To Be Running Again

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ARAB, Ala. (WHNT) -- Gary Beam wore a pair of khaki shorts Tuesday, held up by a set of suspenders printed with a yard stick design.

It was a significant change to the suit and tie Beam typically wears as mayor of Arab.

His lime green polo shirt was accessorized with a small sticker, which read, "I voted."

Unlike the past two mayoral elections, he did not vote for himself.

"I am much less stressed than I was four years ago," Beam said.

"I was nervous, I was anxious to hear the results, and now I'm not."

Beam decided earlier this year he would not seek another term, and said he thoroughly enjoyed his time in office.

"I have had second thoughts, and I sometimes wish I had run for mayor," he said.

"However, I think back to when I made that decision and it was very clear to me that my time was up.  I have to be content with that, and I am excited for the new mayor."

In alphabetical order, the four candidates are former police chief Mike Blackwood, Nick Buccellato, and former council members Bob Joslin and Dianne Prestridge.

"I'm excited about the new mayor coming in and I hope he has as much support coming as I had," Beam said.

The mayor said the accomplishment he is most proud of is stockpiling one month's operating capital in the city's bank account.

It's about $1 million, which he said was the goal of the town council when he started.

"It strengthens our financial position when we go to the bond market.  When we need to borrow money or want to borrow money to do a special project, then the new mayor will be in a better position than I was when I took over, and I like that," Beam said.

He also says there's more than one good candidate for the position, and expects good things regardless of the outcome.

"I think we are leaving this new mayor that will be coming in in sound financial position, where he or she can do a lot of things for Arab.  I think Arab has a bright future."

Beam's term runs through November, and he said he will continue to work with the council on preparing the 2013 budget.

However, he said he wants the incoming mayor to also be involved in preparing the budge and be the one to sign off on it.

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