Dadeville incumbent Mayor Wayne Smith and candidate Jimmy Frank Goodman will faceoff in a runoff election Oct. 6. While they share some similar views on issues affecting the city, the two candidates also stand on different platforms and philosophies.
Smith and Goodman have been campaigning nonstop, especially since the Aug. 25 municipal election that placed them in a runoff. The biggest challenge has been COVID-19 restrictions and trying to reach the entire community.
“Campaigning is going well,” Smith said. “We’re trying to see everyone but with COVID-19 it makes it a little tougher. People are leery about coming to the door and of course we are maintaining social distancing and wearing masks.”
Goodman said he was impressed by the increased voter turnout for the Aug. 25 election and has been campaigning strong ever since.
“It’s all going along very well, really I hadn’t heard too much negative about things,” Goodman said. “As far as the people, it’s a little negative because it’s come down to a lot of people you go around to see people won’t let you in because of COVID-19, but you can understand that.”
Goodman feel the increased turnout is a sign people want change, which is what he stands strongly in support of.
“People want to see a change — some kind of change anyway,” he said. “I was surprised at the turnout. I thought with this virus it wouldn’t have been as many but the turnout really surprised me.”
On the topic of growth, jobs and progress, Smith feels he’s done a good job making that happen and continues to push forward on plans set in motion.
“People are interested in another grocery store and supermarket,” Smith said. “We’re working on that every day. I felt like we were pretty close in the spring but of course coronavirus —it’s just changed the way we do business. We are certainly in tune to people looking for some more retail outlets and particular a grocery store.”
The ability to support a family and remain local is Goodman’s big focus on job expansion.
“People want better jobs and jobs around where they won’t have to go through temp services to get them,” Goodman said. “Mainly they want things to be where they can have a job that pays well and go ahead and take care of their family.”
Goodman also expressed many people want to be able to work locally.
“The ones that live here don’t want to have to go out of town for a job,” Goodman said. “It’s expensive in the first place plus you never can tell, bad weather can stop you from going. Right now, I am focused on hoping there can be some real good jobs to come here.”
One of the bigger issues Smith has heard around town involves increasing youth activities and improving the park and recreation department.
“We’ve not been able to have summer programs because of COVID-19,” Smith said. “We were actually planning on upping the coverage of things this year but when the pandemic hit, we put a hold on them.”
Smith said there has been discussion of incorporating dance classes, soccer and art programs.
“We just want to expand our reach to the children and even expand what’s going on into the schools,” Smith said. “Teaching art — not only painting but other artists are willing to help out in the schools or during the time when they’re out.”
Smith feels with tax revenues up, sales in general up and community participation on the rise, there are plans in motions to move forward.
“I’d like to know what my opponent’s plans are as far as continuing that progress or other things,” Smith said. “I haven’t heard a lot of issues of what my opponent has in mind to go forward.”
When asked what Goodman would want to question his opponent about, he said he’d prefer to leave that up to the voters.
“I really never thought about it because I just don’t like to try to put anyone on the spot by asking them,” Goodman said. “I’d rather prefer the people to do it because the people who want to vote you in, you’re supposed to be working for the peoples and what the peoples want.”
Ultimately, Goodman believes God will guide him in this path toward the runoff and if elected, during his position as mayor.
“I’ll do the best that God let me be because I believe in starting at the top, with God,” Goodman said. “Without God, I mean we can’t do nothing. I go to God on the decisions I have to make and ask him to guide me to be make the best choices for all the people.
“You can’t please everybody but you can do the best you can and the ones you don’t, they’ll see the decisions as the best for the city and that’s about the best I can see it.”