Williamson wants to be full-time mayor

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 7, 2004

DEMOPOLIS – A full-time mayor is what Cecil Porter Williamson believes the citizens of the city deserve, and as a candidate for the mayor’s office she aims on stressing that message to voters in the upcoming municipal election.

“The city council pays for a part-time mayor, but the city expects someone to be full time and work at it full time,” she said.

That gives her the edge over other likely candidates, she said.

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“My opponents have multiple business interests and Demopolis will have to fit into their timeframes like any other piece of the pie. I can do the job full time,” she said.

A business owner, wife and mother of four children, the Demopolis High graduate said improving Demopolis has long been a top priority in her life.

“It’s the only place I’ve ever lived,” she said. “It was a good place for me to grow up and a good, safe place for me to raise my children.”

She and her husband Wayne, married for nearly 40 years, have long been active in Demopolis. Together, they’ve owned a retail drapery and upholstery fabric shop, Fabric Fair, since 1996. Before that, she worked for many years in a family-owned business as inventory control manager, director of sales, director of human services and customer service director.

She said her business skills, combined with a proven track record of civic involvement makes her an ideal candidate for the mayor’s post.

She has served on the Demopolis School Board, and as a fundraiser for U.S. Jones PTA, she was instrumental in organizing the effort to raise $40,000 – a record for that organization. She helped organize the COTR Barbecue and served on the committee for 10 years, four as chairperson.

Active in Trinity Episcopal Church, she has been a Sunday School teacher and youth advisor. Currently, she serves on the vestry, the church’s governing board, and is a delegate to Black Belt Ministries, a cooperative effort of nine Black Belt churches. In addition to numerous church committees, Williamson has served on a number of state- and national-level Episcopal committees.

Williamson said helping others motivates her to be involved in the community and its activities.

She was one of the organizers of the Demopolis Area Habitat for Humanity, an organization that constructs homes for those unable to afford home purchases.

“The people of Demopolis have a close relationship with each other, which is unusual, and have a desire for growth and development, and that is unusual in a small town,” she said.

Growth and development is a key to her campaign as well.

“We need jobs,” she said. “When you ask anyone what he or she would like to see happen in Demopolis, the answer in all areas of the community is more jobs. The question to answer is what do we need to do to get more jobs.”

Another priority for her is getting U.S. Highway 80 four-laned from east to west.

“How do we accomplish either of these two needs? It is not going to be an easy task, but I do know it will take a full-time mayor on the job every day contacting and meeting with state and federal officials and spreading the word that Demopolis is open for business,” she said.

“Under the leadership of Mayor Caldwell and the city council, Demopolis has made great strides in the past 20 years. To truly appreciate what they have accomplished just drive around some of the surrounding cities in the Black Belt and compare the growth and number of services available,” she said.

All the citizens of Demopolis are invited to meet Williamson Saturday, June 12 at the city landing pavilion from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. and enjoy a free lunch of BBQ, hamburgers and hot dogs with all the trimmings. Entertainment will be provided by Toney Nixon on the keyboard.