New face to lead Calera

Published 8:59 pm Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Political newcomer Jon Graham will be Calera’s next mayor, after collecting 925 votes, or 60 percent, to Bobby Joe Phillips’ 618 .

“We just got the news and have a house full of friends and family to celebrate,” Graham said. “I’m optimistic about the change we need in this town. I want this town to be second to none in Alabama.”

Graham said the city can do more to improve its image by revitalizing its downtown area, better showcasing its attractions and pushing along a bypass to keep industrial trucks off main roads.

Graham said advertising Calera’s positive points is another way the city can improve.

“We have a lot of assets here. Calera’s a great place to live,” Graham said. “It’s also the largest in the county land wise, and we have a huge responsibility to make it the best it can be.”

Phillips, a longtime city councilman, said his work is not done despite the defeat.

“First of all, I want to thank my campaign committee and the people who supported me and congratulate Jon Graham,” Phillips said. “I have given the city 32 years of service and would hate to see it go anywhere but forward.”

Phillips said he too believes it is incredibly important for the city to see the bypass project through fruition to continue to grow in a positive manner in the areas of industry and commercial development.

“It was a long hard race, but I feel like the city wanted to go in a different direction with younger leadership,” Phillips said. “I wish them all the best and want Graham to know I’m here if he ever needs me for anything.”