On this Sunday Discussion I am going to make my endorsements for the August 28th municipal elections in Alabama. I am making my picks for mayor and city council in Anniston and Oxford and my mayor endorsement for Alexander City. I first want to talk about the elections in Anniston and Oxford. I have talked about the need to vote out ALL mayors and city councilmen in every city in Calhoun County. This has made many politicians not happy with me Nathan Young or this blog Geek Alabama. This could be a reason why I am sitting here in the apartment unemployed for 14 months now. But I really want to get rid of this good ole boy politics system that has plagued Alabama for a long time. And a good way to start this is to vote out all of the current politicians. Many of my endorsements are not currently serving in office.
City of Anniston
Anniston has 11 mayor candidates running. So the chances for a runoff is great after August 28th. I am endorsing two mayor candidates who I feel like has the best chances to move Anniston forward without getting involved in the good ole boy politics system. My first mayor endorsement is Vaughn Stewart.
Vaughn Stewart has been a long time member of the Anniston community who has served in numerous organizations and was a successful municipal judge in the city. Mr. Stewart has the skills needed to serve as mayor in Anniston. He would “remodel” the Model City by bringing in new businesses and revitalize downtown. He would develop a plan to bring down crime and to improve the city school system. But more importantly he would clean up city government and make sure the mayor and the city council will work together! I think Vaughn Stewart would be a great mayor for Anniston.
My other mayor endorsement is Ann Welch. Ann Welch is a business owner in downtown Anniston and she knows the reasons why downtown is stagnant and she has the plans to bring downtown back! Mrs. Welch would make it easier for a business to locate to Anniston. She would make sure the crime rate in Anniston is lowered and the schools in Anniston are top performing. I hope both candidates are in the runoff after August 28th. One of the issues I want to bring up is our roads. Whoever becomes mayor in Anniston needs to pressure public works to better oversee our roads and traffic lights. The links and the video below will show you what I mean.
My ward candidate endorsements are simple. I want the right candidates to be elected into office who would work together and not fight each other and be arrested. I endorse Andy Hatley in Ward 1 because he would work together with other councilmen and cares about animal welfare. In Ward 2 I endorse David Reddick because he would work hard to bring Anniston back. In Ward 3 I endorse Seyram Selase because we do not need Ben Little re-elected. And in Ward 4 I endorse Millie Harris because she is involved in the community and cares about animal welfare. Here’s the rundown:
- Mayor: Vaughn Stewart or Ann Welch
- Ward 1: Andy Hatley
- Ward 2: David Reddick
- Ward 3: Seyram Selase
- Ward 4: Millie Harris
City of Oxford
The City of Oxford Alabama has been doing well in the last few years. Leon Smith has been the mayor in Oxford for the last seven terms (28 years) but most of the jobs that have been brought in has been retail or restaurant jobs. Sure it’s a job but they pay very low rates! I looked at the Oxford Alabama Wikipedia page and it said the poverty rate in Oxford is around 10%. And for people under 18 the poverty rate is around 13%. This is unacceptable! (These rates are higher in Anniston) So with all of these facts this is why I endorse candidate Cristy Humphries. She held a rally at Lamar Field where former Gov. Bob Riley endorsed her and Steve Stephens from 97.9 WVOK was there!
Cristy Humphries answered the call from several people in the community to run for mayor. She will focus on the 3 E’s: Education, Economic Development, and Energy to Ensure Success! She will work hard to bring businesses with higher paying jobs into Oxford. She will make sure the schools are preparing students for the 21st century workforce. She will oversee a city that has grown and make sure the growth is handled properly. And most importantly; she will work with the City of Anniston so the entire metro area can grow! Something the current mayor does not do much of right now.
For my Oxford Alabama city council candidates I endorse for Place 1 Phil Gardner; Ken Rollins for Place 2; Mike Henderson for Place 3; Greg Thrower for Place 4; and Steve Waits for Place 5. The biggest thing that needs to happen to move this region forward is Oxford and Anniston working together to recruit and grow. If we don’t do that this region will slowly fade away. Here’s the rundown:
- Mayor: Cristy Humphries
- Place 1: Phil Gardner
- Place 2: Ken Rollins
- Place 3: Mike Henderson
- Place 4: Greg Thrower
- Place 5: Steve Waits
Since I am focusing on Oxford they really need to focus on their road issues as well. Many people have commented on how bad the traffic light timing is on Quintard Dr. and Leon Smith Parkway. Plus several roads such as Bynum Blvd. and Friendship Road needs widening!
City of Alexander City
Why I am endorsing a mayor candidate in Alexander City? For one I lived there for half my life; and two I graduated from high school there. So I do care about the city that is going down the drain. The city has lost over 10,000 jobs from the Russell downsizing. The city school system has a debt of $27 million and the city code officials are out of control. The city is so broke that they are repaving their roads in tar and gravel! This is a city that is out of control! And the city and the tax money revenue needs to be brought under control. If it wasn’t for Lake Martin; Alex City would be dead right now in my opinion.
So I am endorsing candidate Mark Lamborne for mayor. Mark Lamborne is a 30-year business owner and Chairman of the Alexander City Economic Development Board. Mr. Lamborne would provide the leadership necessary for Alexander City to be a vibrant, affordable, and ethnically diverse city where the citizens feel safe, enjoy their neighborhoods and have access to their city government. And I feel Mark Lamborne would not be influenced by the good ole boy politics system. I hope Alexander City will eventually come back and be the shining light it once was.
Here comes the road issue; if Alex City wants to grow and recruit businesses it needs to address U.S. 280. What business is going to locate to a city along a highway with numerous traffic lights in between? I feel like Alex City is going to have to pressure ALDOT and the state to upgrade U.S. 280 to a freeway or nothing is going to happen. Plus the city needs to quit repaving with tar and gravel. It makes everything look ugly!
So there you have it! Go vote on Tuesday August 28th if you live in a city. I hope my candidate picks win or I might be the one leaving the Anniston/Oxford area for good! I hope I do not have to call U-Haul and rent a truck for the permanent departure from the Anniston/Oxford area because I can’t find a job.
- Seven Questions With Vaughn Stewart (geekalabama.com)
- Roadscapes Wednesday: Greenbrier Dear Rd. (geekalabama.com)
- Anniston Storm Damage (geekalabama.com)
- Justin Sollohub Wreath Laying Ceremony (geekalabama.com)
- UCP Telethon in Anniston (geekalabama.com)
- Anniston BMX Stunt Show (geekalabama.com)