Voters in Lebanon went to the polls Tuesday to choose between Republican incumbent Sherry Capello and Democrat Cesar Liriano for city mayor.
The polls closed at 8 p.m. Please check back later as results come in.
The mayor will serve a 4-year term.
Capello has served three terms as mayor, running on her record of financial stability from improvements made during her administration.
“Before I took office the city had an unbalanced budget, with an $850,000 deficit,” she said in her announcement. “There were no reserves. The city was three years behind filing audits and there were significant non-compliance findings.”
Since she took office, she added, the city addressed a $1 million loss when the sewer and water authorities split from the city. Officials also established a reserve fund of $1.6 million and an excess carryover of $3.5 million.
“My goals for my fourth term are to continue the focus on economic and workforce development by ensuring a vibrant and growing downtown,” she said.
The city bought the HACC building at 735 Cumberland St. for $2.2 million in June. The plan is to move city officials, police department and public safety officials to that office by May 2022.
Capello has also stated additional goals of reducing barriers for Hispanic businesses in the city, improving home ownership opportunities, continuing the assessment of blighted properties, providing more stability for the city’s homeless population and continuing educational efforts concerning racial equality while supporting law and order.
“I believe my love and commitment to this city has been shown in the decisions I have made,” she said. “My experience in local municipal government, including the leadership shown as (Lebanon’s) mayor has provided the results necessary to move this city out of a deficit and towards financial stability without increasing taxes for the last six years.”
This is the fourth time Democratic challenger Ceasar Liriano has run for public office. Looking to be the first Hispanic mayor of Lebanon, Liriano said the city has a lot of potential for growth for residents and businesses.
“Our city desperately needs changes to move forward in the right direction,” he said. “Our residents need to feel safe, should have clean neighborhoods, and not have to look at so many blighted properties.”
The city of Lebanon has a continually rising Hispanic population, with 44% Hispanic according to the latest Census data. The former one-term Lebanon School District board member is a board member of Union Community Care, Junto de Lebanon and Our Voices Count.
As mayor, Liriano said, he would build better relationships with landlords, and create a place where investors would want to spend some money. He would like to invest downtown with more businesses and deal with infrastructure, including eliminating potholes.
“It is time that we move Lebanon forward and make the necessary changes to be a growing and vibrant city,” he said. “We should be a place where people want to move to, not away from.”
Matthew Toth is a reporter for the Lebanon Daily News. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @DAMattToth.