PELAHATCHIE, Miss. (WJTV) – Pelahatchie’s mayor-elect is not afraid to get his hands dirty starting on Thursday, July 1.

Karl Vanhorn defeated incumbent Mayor Ryshonda Harper Beechem in Tuesday’s Municipal General Election. He has served as fire chief of the volunteer department. Vanhorn said after serving the town in this position, he’s prepared for his new one.

“I’ve been taught, ‘If you want something, you work for it.’ That’s my background. I can’t sit still. There’s always something to be done,” said Vanhorn.

He said his vision for the next four years is renovating the city in many ways.

“If we don’t bring in commercial growth, the burden of infrastructure is going to fall on the taxpayers. That’s something we don’t want to do. We don’t want to raise taxes. We want to have the income take care of our streets, take care of our water,” said Vanhorn.

Walter Hudson is a business owner in town who has known Vanhorn a long time. He said he’s a class act and will enable the change that the city needs.

“He does a lot for the town already, so just looking forward to a new start,” said Hudson.

Beechem said it will be bittersweet saying goodbye to being mayor.

“I just again would like to say thank the citizens of Pelahatchie for having me as their mayor for the last four years. I look forward to still being able to build and enhance Pelahatchie even in the capacity that I am in now as a citizen,” said Beechem.

Vanhorn said he appreciated Beechem’s time in office.