Quality of life important to Brewton District 4

Published 1:37 am Monday, July 28, 2008

By By Lydia Grimes – features reporter
Improving education, developing youth activities and cleaning up dilapidated housing are among the goals of candidates for Brewton City Council District 4.
Three men will be on the ballot for that seat on Aug. 26: incumbent William McGhee and challengers Joe Nathan Watson and the Rev. Lawrence Y. Jolly.
Jolly said he sees several issues facing Brewton residents.
Jolly, who has worked at the container mill - now owned by Georgia-Pacific - for 31 years, said he would bring a knowledge of city government to the office.
Jolly, a Georgia native and one of 21 children, attended Moultrie High School in Moultrie, Ga. He also attended Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, studying community development and community organization.
He is married to Juanita D. Jolly and has seven children. Jolly also attended E.L. White Seminary and received a bachelor's degree in Christian education. He holds a master's degree in theology and a doctorate in divinity.
McGhee, who has held the office since 2006 when he was appointed to replace the late Jake Lewis, said he sees opportunities for Brewton to grow.
Brewton city officials have been in negotiations with the Brewton Board of Education over property on which to build a new school.
McGhee said Brewton needs to be open to change.
During his time in office, McGhee has worked to try to clean up dilapidated housing.
McGhee, 76, attended Southern Normal in Brewton and studied for two years at Central College in Pella, Iowa. He has 20 years, two months and 17 days in the military and was a hospitality office manager for Holiday Inns for 11 years as night manager and five years as NCO Club.
Watson said Brewton faces challenges in the economy and education.
In addition to the relocation of Brewton Middle School, Watson said improving education in general is important for Brewton.
Quality of life issues are also a goal for Watson, he said.
Watson said he believes his ability to listen would help him as a city councilman.
Watson attended T.R. Miller High School and then left his hometown to join the military. After several years in the U.S. Army, he returned home and found work in the engineering department for the Escambia County Commission, where he continues to work.
Watson's wife, Regina, is employed at D.W. McMillan Memorial Hospital as nurse manager in the emergency department. They have two children, Sammy and Ladonna.
Watson serves as chairperson for Escambia County Alabama Democratic Conference. He also serves on the board of directors for Brewton Habitat for Humanity, the board of directors for United Fund, and the board of directors for Brewton Youth Football, and he is a member of Brewton Sportsman Club. He is a member of Second Saint Siloam Missionary Baptist Church, where he serves as a trustee under the leadership of Pastor Willie J. Blue.