Sharon Holley succeeds the late Lloyd Hinote on the Milton City Council representing Ward IV, with a nay vote from Councilman Alan Lowery, during a special meeting Tuesday night at city hall. Council Member Ashley Lay was not present at the meeting. Holley will serve for the remainder of Hinote’s term ending November 2018.

Holley said her interest in serving on the city council stems from Hinote.

 “I have known Lloyd Hinote for nearly 50 years,” Holley said. “I sat there and thought about that…and I guess I did that as an honor to him to carry on what he would like to see happen in the city.”

Holley worked 23 years with the city’s code enforcement department and she said the city benefitted from her grant writing experience. Holley also has six years experience as a business owner operating ‘Cabinets on the Square’ in Pensacola.

Holley said the council should look at a prioritized list of citizen concerns.

"There is not just one thing that needs to be accomplished,” she said.

Holley said she would like to see the city continue working towards creating affordable housing for local military and addressing city streets in need of repair.

“(The council) has been doing that and that’s good,” she said. “I am not here to reinvent the wheel, but just to keep it turning and it needs to keep moving forward and not in reverse.”  

Lowery motioned approval for Lee Shalosky and Barbara Rankin, who also sought to take the vacant seat. However, neither candidate received a second vote from council.

Holley’s time at the podium had moments of tension. 

Lowery said he received a letter stating Holley tried to remove President Sammy Carroll, of the nonprofit Main Street Milton, from her position. 

“I never, one time, tried to have Sammy Carroll removed from a board,” Holley said. “I don’t know where you are getting your information from, but it’s not right.”

Lowery said he had problems with Holley during her tenure as a city employee.

 While Lowery questioned her ability to work with council members, Holley said she was not there to “have a battle of wits with anybody.”

“We do need to work together, but your negativity…does not show me a passionate positive attitude,” Holley said.

From the audience, Mike Davis asked Holley if she had any responsibility during her city employment in damaging state property near the Blackwater State Heritage Trail.

Holley said she had no knowledge of this incident. She said she “never took anything down in this city that was not approved by city council.”

Following the meeting, Holley said she did not anticipate the confrontational moments.

 “Personally, I thought it would be very unprofessional,” she said.

 Regardless, Holley anticipates working alongside the council in the months and years to come.

“There are going to be times when we don’t agree on things and I understand that,” she said. “I do hope we can work together for the betterment for all of the city.”

Holley joins newly elected council members Jeff Snow, Peggi Smith and Casey Powell in December.

“Sitting in that chair is a learning experience for everybody and if a person is not learning, they are not moving forward,” she said. “You got to learn and do the best you can. That is what the people want.”