Clarksville City Council can’t decide who to put in Ward 11 headquarters

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Clarksville City Council is on recess until 5:30 p.m. on March 16 after members deadlocked on Tuesday over who to temporarily select to replace Ashlee Evans in Ward 11 on the council.

Ward 11:Meet the five men keen to replace Ashlee Evans as council member

Five candidates put their names down to be considered for the open seat, and at the start of the meeting they were narrowed down to two. But, after 10 ballots, the board was unable to reach the required majority of seven votes between finalists Joe Shakeenab and Rick Reda.

Ten of the 12 current council members, including Mayor Joe Pitts, attended the meeting.

Normally there are 13 council members with all members present and seats filled.

Two board members, Brian Zacharias and Wallace Redd, did not attend Tuesday’s meeting.

Shakeenab consistently received six votes—one shy of the majority required to fill interim council seats, as stipulated in the city charter. Reda received four.

Due to the failure of the majority, the council earlier in the meeting had tabled the question of replacing Evans, discussed other town business, and then returned to it at the end of the meeting.

In the end, Councilor Vondell Richmond successfully moved a motion to table Ward 11’s vote until next week, when council will pick up where it left off, possibly with all council members.

In the background, the consideration of who to select remains a race between Shakeenab and Reda. Whoever is selected will either serve until the municipal elections on Nov. 8 or until the official end of Evans’ term on Dec. 31.

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City Attorney Lance Baker is reviewing the city charter and looking to determine that official end date for the acting councilman.

Shakeenab is a retired U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 4, who served over 20 years with the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne). He is currently president of the National Alumni Association of Austin Peay State University, among other affiliations.

Reda was the owner of Reda Auto Sales and owns Reda Homebuilders, a prolific new home construction business in the Clarksville area. He was also employed by the city’s street and fire departments.

Other candidates eliminated on Tuesday were James Adcock, production manager at Kena Industries; Ron Lanfear, retired Army veteran and former employee of Workforce Essentials Inc., lead trainer for the American Red Cross in Tennessee; and Lane Mang, an APSU student and intern for U.S. Representative 7th District Mark Green (R-Clarksville).

Evans announced his resignation from city council last December after learning his family was moving to Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, North Carolina. She had been serving since January 2021.

Contact Jimmy Settle at jimmysettle@theleafchronicle.com or 931-245-0247. To support his work, sign up for a digital subscription to TheLeafChronicle.com.

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