Council candidates share their thoughts

Pelham City Council candidates, from left, Jeff Smith, Jim Phillips, Karyl Rice, Rick Hayes, David Ladewig, Teresa Nichols, Mildred Lanier, Beth McMillan, Bob Sullivan, Ron Scott, Lucas Burter, Bill Meadows and Maurice Mercer line the room during an Aug. 13 forum at the Pelham Police Department courtroom. (Reporter Photo/Jon Goering)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Pelham’s City Council candidates shared their thoughts on the city’s issues during a campaign forum Aug. 13 in the Pelham Police Department’s courtroom.

During the forum, which was attended by about 200 and was sponsored by the Pelham Library Guild, Place 1 candidates Rick Hayes and Teresa Nichols, Place 2 candidates Lucas Burger and Ron Scott, Place 3 candidates David Ladewig, Mildred Lanier and Beth McMillan, Place 4 candidates Maurice Mercer, Jim Phillips, Jeff Smith and Robert Sullivan and Place 5 candidates Bill Meadows and Karyl Rice. Place 3 candidate Jim Martin did not attend.

Hayes said he would work to improve Pelham’s schools and quality of life in an effort to draw more families to support Pelham’s economy.

Nichols, the current council president, said she would like the city to conduct a comprehensive study to identify Pelham’s needs.

Burger said he would support funding on-the-job and skills training programs at Pelham’s schools.

Scott said he would like to hire a city economic development director and a Civic Complex manager, and said he would like to create a city business league.

Ladewig said the city should prepare marketing materials to recruit businesses, and said Pelham should quickly work to build a new library.

Lanier said the city should work to develop a “hub” on U.S. 31 to serve as Pelham’s downtown area.

McMillan said she would like Pelham to revisit its sewer rates, and said many Pelham residents view them as “a real financial burden.”

Mercer said Pelham should develop a strong marketing plans based off successful programs in cities such as Hoover.

Phillips said he would promote a positive working relationship between the City Council and the mayor.

Smith said the city should meet with Pelham business owners to determine “what is hindering them from being successful.”

Sullivan said Pelham residents should become more involved in community events, and said he would like to see a new library.

Meadows said Pelham should reallocate several million dollars in the city’s budget to help the city overcome some of its challenges.

Rice said the city should work to support its existing businesses while working to recruit new businesses.

Several City Council candidates have provided responses to several questions on the Pelham Civic and Ice Advisory Council’s website on Pccalliance.org.