Qualifying starts for municipal elections

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 2, 2008

DEMOPOLIS &8212; The first day of qualifying for city elections on Tuesday was productive, with six candidates submitting paperwork, City Clerk Paula Bird confirmed Wednesday.

In the mayoral race, two people have announced their candidacy: Mike Grayson and Cecil P. Williamson. In addition to submitting an intention to run statement, both candidates were required to pay a $50 to the city and submit a statement of economic interest, which is required by the Alabama Ethics Commission to ensure candidates to not present conflicting interests with their finances.

Mayoral race

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Grayson, a Demopolis business owner, is running for mayor for the second time.

Grayson said his campaign is based on the phrase &8220;One Demopolis First.&8221; Grayson said he embraces the idea of regionalism, but in his opinion the mayor should always be looking at what new developments will mean for the city itself.

Grayson added that he does not consider himself a politician, but rather a citizen who is interested in leadership and government.

Williamson, the incumbent candidate and first-time mayor, said she plans to run for re-election to finish up the work she began when she took office.

Among those projects are working closely with the city and county economic development authority, she said. Another priority is to attract retail development and growth to both the downtown area and the U.S. Highway 80 corridor in order to bring more revenue to the city. Williamson said her goal is to bring growth and development to the city.

Council races

In the city council races, four people have submitted qualifying paperwork. Two candidates, Thomas O. Moore Sr. and Dexter Jones, will be vying for the district 1 spot. So far, Bill Meador Jr. is the only candidate to qualify for the district 4 spot, as is the case with district 5, where John R. &8220;Jack&8221; Cooley is seeking re-election. No one has qualified for district 2 or 3 positions.

Moore has served four terms with the city council, and said he feels as though he has one more term to see his goals for the city accomplished. Two of his chief concerns are well-paying jobs for citizens and improving infrastructure in his district. Moore has worked to secure grant funds for a major drainage project in the area.

Another project is seeing fire station # 2 renovated.

Moore&8217;s opponent, Dexter Jones, is a native of Demopolis who works as a quality assurance technician for a satellite company.

Primary objectives for Jones include working to abate dilapidated houses and properties in his district and also bring in more activities for children.

Jones said he is committed to investing in more recreational avenues for the children of the city, in part because he has two teenage children of his own.

Bill Meador Jr., who is a Demopolis business owner and serves as the chairman of the Parks and Recreation board for the city, is seeking the district 4 seat, which is currently held by Woody Collins.

Meador said he sees this as an opportunity to step up and be a leader and give back to the community, one which he says is full of assets that need to be preserved and polished.

Cooley is retired and has worked for many years on city events like the Christmas on the River BBQ cook-off. He is serving his first term with the city council and is seeking re-election in district 5.

One of Cooley&8217;s chief concerns is the ability of the next council and mayor to work effectively and work together well while bringing positive things to the city.

The qualifying period will end on July 15.