Mayoral candidates showcase plans for office

Published 9:40 pm Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Four mayoral candidates talked about their goals for office during Tuesday night’s election forum at Vincent Middle/High School.

Jimmy Carter, Joseph Cobb, Ernest Kidd Jr. and Ray McAllister are all vying for the mayor’s office vacated by Terry Allen.

Carter said there are several critical issues Vincent is facing, but the most important one is the city council itself. The city’s current council doesn’t always take swift action, often tabling issues, he said.

“The first issue I would tackle is in the city hall,” he said. “The first thing I will do is make sure that every councilman that represents a district is held accountable.”

Carter also emphasized bringing in businesses to generate revenue for the city.

“There’s things not being done that could be done because we don’t have the revenue coming in,” he said.

Cobb said his biggest goal is to stimulate job growth by bringing in grant money and information on how to start small businesses for citizens. He also said he would like to see an industrial park in Vincent.

The council needs to be more open to citizens, Cobb said.

“The government is probably not as responsive as it needs to be,” he said.

Kidd said he would try to bring volunteer services to Vincent’s senior citizens. He also said that the well being of Vincent’s schools is of the highest priority.

“I will go down to the Shelby County school board and fight for our schools,” he said.

McAllister said his primary goal is to bring in revenue and increase business opportunities in the town.

“As we all know, it takes money to run a city, and we’re short of it,” he said.

He also said he wanted to increase communication between the townspeople and the council. Since McAllister is retired, he said he’d be a full-time mayor who keeps his door open.

The only other seat open on the town council is the District 4 seat, for which Beth Hawkins and Ralph Kimble, Jr. are competing.

Hawkins said she hopes to help find a balance between Vincent’s lifelong residents and younger newcomers. She also stressed beautification efforts and listening to citizens.

Kimble said his priority would be communication between town government and the citizens of Vincent.