Eager to Serve
Laura Wagner is the newly appointed East Ward Alderman in the City of Mountain View. She fills a seat vacated in October by former Alderman Ellie Ferrel f/k/a Carson. Ferrel resigned from the position at the regular October Council meeting because she no longer meets city residency requirements.
At that meeting, Ferrel recommended Wagner as a replacement. Aldermen in Mountain View are not legally empowered to nominate their own replacements, but Wagner was Ferrel’s pick.
After Mayor Donnie Pruett insisted the Board of Alderman nominate and subsequently vote to fill the vacant seat, Wagner was voted in 2-1. Alderman Judi Colter was the dissenting vote.
Wagner told Howell County News she first expressed interest in getting involved in Mountain View city politics before she ever knew Ferrel was leaving the Council. Wagner says the two discussed it in a friendly, informal way long before it was clear there would be a vacancy. Wagner observed the Council and the government for 12 years as a journalist working for the now-closed Mountain View Standard.
“I’m at the point where I have the knowledge, having covered it for the newspaper. It’s my time to step up and give back to the community,” she said in a November 10 interview, “I saw the way things were running, and I saw that there was a lot I could do.”
When Ferrell recommended Wagner at the October meeting, there was not much of a reaction from the Mayor, the Aldermen, or the public, Wagner said.
“I am not well-known, but somewhat known to the members of the council. Through the paper is how I have come to know everyone,” she explained.
Born and raised in West Plains, Wagner has resided in Mountain View since she was 18 years old. Her two daughters are Liberty Eagles; the eldest of the two graduated in 2021, and the youngest is a freshman.
“We are very active in the community. If you look for us, you’ll find us at the soccer field,” Wagner said.
After the October meeting, Mayor Donnie Pruett invited Wagner to City Hall to discuss the vacancy.
“He asked me how I felt about Mountain View. I said I love this town, and I want to help. It was a five minute meeting,” Wagner said.
At the November 8 meeting, Pruett did not nominate Wagner, but instead Charry McCann as his appointment for the open seat. Nonetheless, Wagner is now the sitting East Ward Alderman until April’s election. She says she has concerns about the way she came to fill the seat.
“This is not how I wanted it to happen,” she said, “I have nothing but good intentions. I love Mountain View. I have so many ideas we could implement.”
Wagner said she wanted to be nominated and planned to run in April.
“I’ve lived here for 20 years, raised both my children here. I absolutely love this community. I love the closeness. If someone needs something, the community rallies I want to see businesses succeed and thrive. I can help. I can help make it beautiful. I can help make it grow. I want nothing but the best for Mountain View,” Wagner said.
Her top priority now that she is in office is to boost community involvement by reintroducing citizen committees.
“If we can all get on the same page we can make steps forward,” she suggested.