Two long-time council members are headed back to the city council in the city of Independence.

Incumbents Lynn Betts and Brad Spencer both won re-election last week when they finished first and second in the three-person election.

In a very close race, Spencer garnered the most votes while Betts was a close second; and challenger Maggie Ritter was far behind in third place.

Of the 1,245 votes cast by Independence residents, Spencer had 402 votes or 32.85 percent of the votes. He edged out Betts by just 16 votes. Ritter finished with 329 votes. Over 9 percent of the electorate, or 114, voted for a write-in candidate.

For Spencer this will be his fourth term on the Independence City Council after first being elected in 2009. Prior to that he served six years on the Independence Planning Commission.

“I’d first want to express my thanks to the community for allowing me to continue to serve,” Spencer said. “I know that I for one am truly humbled by the continued support I receive from our residents. While campaigning I encountered many folks with questions about their city and I would like to remind everyone that my contact information, including my cell phone number and email is easily found on the city website and I am more than happy to respond to questions and requests for information from our citizens.”

Spencer said he wants to continue to work on keeping the balance that Independence has in its lifestyle.

“I think the city has come a long way with its finances and now the greatest challenge we face is the rapidly appreciating land values and the related pressures to develop,” he said. “The COVID-19 pandemic and the increase of work from home opportunities have contributed to a renewed interest in the rural/suburban lifestyle. Finding a way to balance the interests of the current residents, the rights of the undeveloped property owners and the long term interests of the city (and our neighbors) will put most of us to the test. What we do today will shape the city for the next generation and that’s not a task to be taken lightly.”

For Betts, she returns to the city council that she has been a member of since 2002 and is excited for her next term.

“I would love to thank all our residents who voted and the support given to me to continue to serve the City of Independence,” Betts said. “I have served since 2002 and during that time much has been accomplished with excellent staff, careful planning financially and city growth. We face challenges ahead and I will continue to strive to keep our city safe and encourage residents to be involved and supportive to this special city we all share. I remain available to all citizens with your viewpoints or suggestions. I am honored to serve you for another term.”

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