Mayor races heat up

Published 2:00 am Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A time of economic distress could be putting pressure on candidates hoping to win the top seat in government for the city of Brewton.
With three candidates vying for the mayor’s position, economic development seems to be at or near the top of their priority list.
David Jennings, Yank Lovelace and Frank Nalty — all candidates for Brewton mayor — agree that growing the city’s economy is in the best interest of the residents who call the city home.
Jennings said the economic condition for Brewton is similar to other cities and strong work will be needed to overcome the current situation.
“The issues facing Brewton are not unlike issues facing every single city in this country,” Jennings said. “The economic uncertainty heading in to 2013 is of great concern. The age and condition of our existing infrastructure is going to be a challenge and some very strategic planning is going to have to take place to handle these troublesome issues.”
For Lovelace, working on more than finding new jobs for the city is a plan he believes is important for community development and economic growth.
“The single most important issue facing our city is job creation, virtually all candidates agree,” Lovelace said. “The difference between us is the approach I plan to use to bring Brewton to the forefront of industry recruiting. To accomplish that, I plan to focus efforts on improving our education system in K-12 schools and our community college and university offerings locally. All economic development begins with great schools, and the effort to improve education can never rest.”
Although education is at the forefront of Lovelace’s plan to grow the city, other areas of community living are equally important.
“Our community needs more opportunities for recreation from commercial offerings like theaters, bowling or skating to restaurants and community-sponsored events,” Lovelace said. “I will work with community, business leaders and economic development agencies to accomplish that goal building on my established track record of team-building.”
For Nalty, letting the world in on the secrets held in Brewton is a main focus of a plan to move forward economically.
“Our economic development in Brewton is at a dead standstill,” Nalty said. “In order to change that we need to put together a plan to move Brewton forward. I plan to lead the industrial development board with my expertise and experience and you can be assured that when the governor and department of commerce staff travel to recruit jobs for Alabama, I’ll be sitting on the airplane with them.”
Nalty said he believes additional access to the city of Brewton would be beneficial in attracting business and industry as well as visitors to the city to increase revenues.
“We also need to purse the I10/I65 corridor through the heart of Brewton as the gateway to the gulf,” Nalty said. “We should have billboards on each of Brewton’s exits explaining to the world that Brewton is open for business. It’s also important that we work with East Brewton because those who come into the area may not know there are two cities. We all need to put our best face on and keep our streets clean and our yards nicely manicured. We’re a city and we need to be presentable to the world.”
With municipal elections just weeks away, will have a limited amount of time to state their positions on a variety of subjects.
The mayor’s seat is up for grabs this year with current mayor Ted Jennings opting not to run for re-election.
Municipal elections will be held Tuesday, Aug. 28 with polls open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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