Willows Police Chief Bill Spears was elected to the Willows City Council Tuesday night following a contentious decision the council made in August to not extend Spears' contract as police chief.
Spears won about 24 percent of the vote, making him the Willows City Council candidate with the most votes. Additionally, two incumbent candidates who were running against Spears and had voted to not extend his contract were not re-elected.
According to Willows Mayor Vince Holvik, when the decision to not extend Spears' contract was made, the reasoning was that it would save the city $160,000 a year. Holvik said that the city had been dipping into reserves for the past three years.
Willows City Manager Steve Holsinger also played a part in not renewing Spears' contract. On Spears' election to the council, Holsinger said that Spears "obviously demonstrated to the people that he deserves the most votes."
Holsinger said that he felt that there were hard feelings between Spears and some of the other council members during the election, especially after the two incumbents weren't reelected.
"We're definitely seeing a change of the guard," Holsinger said.