Runoff candidates share their stances

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

The pair of candidates vying for Place 4 on the Pelham City Council said they have plans to address many of the city’s issues while working to promote economic growth in the city.

Mercer

Candidates Maurice Mercer and Jim Phillips will enter a runoff election on Oct. 9 after neither candidate was able to gather a majority of votes in the four-candidate race during the August general election.

Phillips

Mercer said he would work to enact a marketing program to tout Pelham’s offerings, especially recreational venues such as Ballantrae Golf Club, the Pelham Civic Complex and Oak Mountain State Park.

“I think it starts with a marketing program on a local and regional level,” Mercer said, noting he would work to bring tournaments and other sporting events to the city.

Mercer said he is “not interested in selling” the Pelham Civic Complex, and said he would work with other council members to hire a “full-time, qualified manager” to run the complex and its banquet hall.

“I think we should hold them accountable for bringing ideas to reduce costs and increase revenues,” Mercer said.

Mercer also said he would like to hold regular town hall meetings to help address issues such as flooding in Ballantrae and off Alabama 261.

Phillips said many issues the city is facing are “easy fixes,” and said he would be in favor of developing city-owned land next to Pelham City Park to house a “city center,” featuring businesses, a new library and potentially recreation facilities.

“The ice complex is a simple fix. You’ve got to have someone in there who knows how to run it and market it,” Phillips said.

Phillips said he would work to run sewer lines down Shelby County 11 to encourage development on the eastern side of the city.

Phillips also said he would like the Army Corps of Engineers to take a look at the city’s flooding problems off Alabama 261, and said the Corps helped reduce flooding problems along Bishop Creek in the early ‘90s.

Polls for the runoff election will be open from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. at the Pelham Civic Complex.