Jennings to seek mayor position

Published 5:47 pm Tuesday, November 15, 2011

David Jennings first thought about running for Brewton mayor in 2004, when as director of the county’s emergency management office during Hurricane Ivan he saw the importance of team building and communications.
“You have to be a team builder,” he said. “I want to create an environment where good people can do their jobs.”
Jennings, 42, is the son of current Mayor Ted Jennings, who will retire next year, and Carolyn Jennings. He is married to the former Heather Lindsey, with whom he has two children, Stokes, 11, and Lindsey, 3.
Municipal elections will be held in August 2012. Frank Nalty has also officially announced he will be running for Brewton mayor.
Jennings said he would like to see the city succeed in a variety of ways.
“I will constantly be trying to enhance and strengthen the city in all areas — education, recreation, economic development,” he said. “Those are the day-to-day challenges that never go away.”
Jennings said his volunteerism and work experience would benefit the city if he is elected.
“I’ve spent my adult life giving of my time and talents to numerous worthwhile activities within this community,” he said. “To be a good public servant, you must be an effective team builder. You need to surround yourself with good people, which this current administration has done. I want to create an environment where those people can play to their strengths and perform their responsibilities effectively.”
One of Brewton’s greatest obstacles, Jennings said, is its population — or lack thereof.
“We all want to see Brewton prosper, with retail and restaurants, but demographically, we just don’t represent very well,” he said.
The city has currently taken a careful approach to annexation, with a committee set up to look at the possibility of annexing only those residents who want to be in the city limits, as long as their property is contiguous with the city.
Jennings said he agrees with that approach.
“It’s a very sensitive issue, and I don’t think you can force-feed that,” he said.
Making sure that city services offered to those who would be annexed is important, he said.
As a parent and a volunteer, Jennings said he is in direct contact with the services the city provides.
“My children are in the city school system, we’re involved in recreation, I’m a small business owner, my parents live here and public safety and quality of life issues directly affect all of us,” he aid. “I’m planning to spend the rest of my life in Brewton, and I want to see the city grow and prosper to provide opportunities for future generations.”
Jennings has been closely involved in the city’s recreation efforts, including a role organizing state softball tournaments hosted by Brewton last summer.
“You learn to communicate effectively and be a problem solver,” he said of the role, noting that Brewton made a good impression on visiting teams — who also spent money in the city.
“It’s a reflection of our community,” he said. “That takes the efforts of a lot of people.”
Jennings, who graduated from T.R. Miller High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Auburn in 1997, worked as office manager for Tiger Construction Co. in Montgomery before returning to Brewton, where he supervised the work release program. He then served as the EMA director from 2004-2006 before working and later purchasing Milligan’s in downtown Brewton.
Jennings said he hopes his children will be able to return to their hometown to work one day, too.
“I want to be mayor of Brewton because I love Brewton and I love raising my family in Brewton,” he said. “I want to make sure my children, if they desire to do so, can come back to Brewton, make a living and raise their families.”