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Campaign 2012: Five Candidates Fighting to Win Alexander City Mayor
Alexander City's 81-year old mayor, Barbara Young is stepping down after serving the city for nearly 30 years, and the past eight years as the city's leader. Now, a handful of native city officials and business owners are vying for her job.
Five male candidates have a closely tied to-do list for improving Alex City, most focusing on bringing jobs into the city, after losing more than 10,000 jobs to the Russell Corporation over the past decade.
Alex City city councilman, Mark Fuller is running for mayor, he is also an Alabama Marine Police Officer on Lake Martin.
“I'd like to establish a small business council, and maybe have a quarterly round table discussion, and just pass ideas around and just seek out businesses,” Fuller said. “Go to them and say look, would you come back to Alex City with us and let us show you what we have to offer, rather than wait for someone to knock on our door, let’s go knock on theirs.”
Tallapoosa County Commissioner Charles Shaw says his combined commissioner and business experience at his company, Charles Shaw Refrigeration, gives him an edge over other candidates.
“Through jobs, through continued working with the people of Alexander City, and department heads,” Shaw said. “It will just make it a better place for the people to live, people to visit and people to want to come to.”
Another candidate, ordained minister Garland Gamble is a three time city councilman for Alexander City. He says he understands and accepts the mayor’s commitment to the city and its people, which is why he made a 12-year city plan, “20-20 Vision.”
“I have a strategic plan, a well documented strategic plan, with measures and controls to show us where we are and where we want to go, and the means of getting there. So from that standpoint, I'm first day, on the job, ready to go,” Gamble said.
Mark Lamborne believes he is a trusted name in Alex City, through the contacts he's established at his company, Bill's electric, which he's owned for the last 30 years.
“I feel what sets me apart is I've got business experience. This is a 50-million dollar corporation here at the city, so it’s gotta be run like a business,” Lamborne said. “It's a great city, I believe in the city, I believe it can be enhanced and go forward, it can grow. But it’s going to have to be done by the people of Alexander City, just not the mayor and the council, its going to have to be done by groups of people in the city of Alexander City.”
Rounding out the ballot is Alexander City city councilman Bill Young, who is also the son of the current mayor Barbara Young.
“The question I would ask our voters is to decide which candidate is most likely to be aggressive, energetic and be passionate about being a leader in this community? Which candidate is going to be out there fighting day in and day out to make Alex City a great place to live?,” Young said. “Not only a great place to live, but a great place for new industry to come in and form a strong bond with out community,”
Over the next month, the candidates will be meeting residents of Alex City and campaigning across the area until Election Day, August 28.