Editor's Note: This is an opinion article.
People look at voting for mayor from number of different angles. It could be supporting a candidate with similar political opinions, choosing a candidate because you agree on one stand-out issue, voting for a friend. But the most important reason to vote for any candidate is because that person has the best ability to serve the public.
Alexander City’s mayor is in charge of a $55 million business with more than 300 employees. It is the people’s business, funded largely by our taxes and for the benefit of all those who live in our community.
Tuesday’s mayoral runoff election asks Alexander City citizens to choose between Tommy Spraggins and Curtis “Woody” Baird.
It is your right and responsibility to vote for the candidate you believe will best serve our city over the next four years. But if you are on the fence, we ask you to consider our endorsement.
After studying the candidates, interacting with them, listening to them speak in public and learning about their plans, The Outlook has identified incumbent Mayor Tommy Spraggins is the better choice for the mayor’s job.
Due to Spraggins’ executive experience managing large numbers of employees and budgets in the tens of millions of dollars with Russell Corp. and Russell Medical, and his on-the-job work as president of the city council and as mayor, he is better qualified to be mayor.
Spraggins has been either the leader or played an important role in a great deal of the city’s accomplishments over the last few years, especially during the last 16 months he served as mayor. City revenue has increased over 11% compared to last year; monthly financial reports were introduced to review all revenue and expenses; transparency and trust in government has been rekindled.
For decades, Spraggins has volunteered and served in leadership positions in our school system, charity organizations and civic clubs, demonstrating his long-term willingness to work hard to improve Alexander City.
We feel Spraggins will be accessible to the people of Alex City and listen and act with the city’s best interests at heart. We believe he will do what he says if he is elected.
Baird is a passionate, hard-working, outspoken man who also has our city’s best interests at heart. But he is less experienced than his opponent in public service, in leading large numbers of people and in managing the millions of dollars the mayor’s position requires.
We salute Baird for his willingness to speak up and contribute to the political discussions in Alexander City, for his ability to generate a lot of public support — as evidenced by placing first among the three original candidates for mayor — and for undertaking the huge amount of effort it takes to run for public office.
No matter who wins Tuesday, this newspaper will support the new mayor, and we hope all Alexander City residents will do the same.
Whatever choice you make at the polls, the most important choice you will make Tuesday is to go to the polls. In a small community like ours — and after these two candidates finished with almost the same number of votes in the primary election — every vote is especially important.