EB council candidates addres issues

Published 11:06 am Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Only two seats will see opposition in the race for East Brewton city council in the upcoming municipal elections.
Seats currently held by Byron Palmer, Kenneth Hultz and Ned Siebert were not opposed seeing the incumbents easing back into their positions for the next four-year term.
Council seats in places 3 and 4 held by Ludon Simmons and Bob Arrant, respectively, are being sought by individuals interested in being a part of the city’s government body.
The Brewton Standard posed three questions to candidates, asking what they believe are the toughest issues their respective districts and the city face and how they would approach them; what is their vision for the city; and what experience they bring to the position.
Place 3
Incumbent Ludon Simmons
Simmons said he believes continued improvements are a top priority for the city.
“We need to continue our efforts to make improvements on our streets and in our utilities,” Simmons said. “We need to improve in and around our community in these areas which seem to be some of our biggest challenges.”
Simmons said one way to meet the challenges is to increase revenue for the city as much as possible.
“My vision for the city is to see an increase in retail stores and restaurants in the community,” Simmons said. “Having a variety of those kinds of businesses is needed to see the city grow.”
Simmons said he believes his experience and involvement in city government gives him a good background to continue to serve the citizens of East Brewton.
“I have lived in the City of East Brewton since 1970 and I’ve worked in and around the city Government for over 27 years,” Simmons said. “I consider myself to be a people person. My mother once said to me ‘be kind to your neighbor and treat them as you would have them treat you’ and I try to live  by that rule.”
Simmons is being challenged for his council seat by Robert Bradley.
Robert Bradley
Bradley said he hopes to see growth in the community by meeting a variety of challenges faced by the city.
“I believe that cleaning the city and restoring property to promote a better place to live is in order,” Bradley said. “I plan to get our community involved in that. We also need to raise revenue without raising taxes. By bringing in new business, we can accomplish that. We need to show people that we care about our city by working with Brewton, the county and the state. The most important thing is to give our children things to do besides sitting in parking lots. By having a teen center, theater, etc., we can see a change.”
Bradley said his vision for the city over the next four years includes a variety of improvements.
“My vision is to see more business come into East Brewton and have a cleaner, safer city,” Bradley said. “We need recreation for all our children. I also believe the city council and mayor should have an open door policy to the public for their input. All of these things are within our reach. If we all work together, I see most or all of these accomplished.”
Bradley has a military background with experience he believes will help in a position on the council.
“I served more than 26 years in military service and managed up to 48 people in Iraq,” Bradley said. “I have police administration experience at the University of Alaska in a management position. I have an associate’s degree in electronics and am an ordained Baptist minister for 37 years. I am retired now and am serving as nursing home ministry assistant. I love helping people through difficult times.”
In place 4 on East Brewton’s city council, incumbent Bob Arrant is hoping to retain his position. Citing revenue as a challenge for the city,
Bob Arrant
Arrant said he hopes to see continued growth in East Brewton.
“Like many cities, our biggest challenge is revenue,” Arrant said. “We have had a couple of new retail stores to open and that will help a great deal.”
Arrant said he has hopes that the city’s services will continue to improve during the next four years.
“My vision for East Brewton is to continue building and make it a place our children will be proud to live in,” Arrant said. “I would like to see another policeman added to our force, but money dictates that.”
Arrant was elected to serve on the East Brewton city council in 2008 and has owned his own business for a number of years, giving him what he believes is good experience to continue to serve the city.
“I have served on the city council for the past four years,” Arrant said. “I have served on the zoning board for two years and have owned my own construction business for the last four years. I serve as deacon at Alco Baptist Church. My wife, Cindy, and I have been married for 23 years and have a son, Rob, who is 16 years old.”
Michael Cosey
Cosey is hoping to earn enough votes to put him in the place four seat on the council in the upcoming election. He said the idea of increased revenue isn’t new to East Brewton or any other city.
“It’s obvious every small town needs more revenue,” Cosey said. “Even bigger cities are always looking for more revenue. It is not as easy as people think to get a business to come in. Some people think you can just call in for a KFC, Taco Bell or Wendy’s — it’s not that easy. They have to be willing to come. I’m looking for a business that is not going to hurt the ones that have been faithful to East Breton for years. You want to bring in business that is going to produce healthy competition and make each business better.”
Cosey said he has a vision to see empty buildings in the city filled with new and growing businesses.
“I think small business owners are very important to a community,” Cosey said. “I think when those empty buildings are filled, that will attract the bigger business. I want to see each citizen, including myself, take pride in the homes we live in, the community we live in and the schools we attend. In four years, if we work together, I think people will be amazed at the progress East Brewton can see. But, it takes everyone from the mayor, council, department heads right down to each citizen. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. If we all work together we can be a strong chain. I plan to be a strong part of the chain and try to always look for areas and ways we can do and be better.”
Cosey also said his involvement in workings of a city give him experience and knowledge to serve the people.
“I have been employed with the city of Brewton for 13 years,” Cosey said. “I have watched others and learned a lot from this experience. I have also pastured four churches and in each one we have had different projects to work on. When dealing with people, everyone is not always going to be satisfied with a final decision. I feel from my pastoral experience that is one aspect I can help with if elected. I know there will be decisions I’ll make that won’t always be popular. But, as an elected councilman, it will be my duty to serve the people of East Brewton as well as the city. I feel I can be a councilman that will always be working to try and make our community better. The biggest and greatest influence in my life is God, and if I always allow him to lead me, no matter what, I feel I can’t go wrong.”

Email newsletter signup