You know the saying, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. One businessman has taken that to heart. After years of conflict with the City of Statesboro and police, 29-year-old bar owner Will Britt has earned a seat on the council. For years, he's fought City Hall, now he's part of it.
"Everyone has an opinion on how things ought to operate, and one of the reasons I ran is because I have an opinion, and I feel my opinion is representative of a lot of other business people in town," he told us.
His oldest club, Legends, has been at the heart of the fight. Britt and the city have fought over rules on alcohol, concerts and crowds, all businesses that rely on Georgia Southern college students. Officially, Tuesday was election day. But this race may have been decided during voter registration. Four hundred college students signed up to vote for the first time and some even went to the trouble to vote absentee.
"Georgia Southern students make up a great part of this town and a huge amount of revenue is from students," Britt said. "So I'd like to find out what they're concerns are."
Britt says he'll tackle issues of housing as well as hospitality. "I hope they don't see it as the guy we've argued with for eight years is now one of us," he said. "I don't want it to be a lot of fights."
He says it's time to put feuds aside and work together. He'll take office at the first council meeting in January. He says the one big issue could be a proposed ban on smoking in restaurants and taverns. He wants to hear what businesses and customers say before it's brought to a vote.
We talked with some city employees today and they're waiting to see what happens.