Waters seeks re-election

Published 11:21 am Tuesday, July 26, 2016

By Briana Harris / Staff Writer

PELHAM – Pelham Mayor Gary Waters said his approach to re-election is simple: “The folks that know me know what I stand for and they either like it or they don’t like it.”



Waters said he is running for re-election because he would like to continue down the path of residential and commercial growth, which he attributed to the start of Pelham City Schools. He also said he’d like to complete some of the projects started by previous administrations.

“Sometimes as an elected official your job is to plant the seed and sometimes it’s to harvest it,” he said.

But win or lose, Waters said this will be his last time running for mayor.

“I’m a believer of self-imposed limits,” he said. “It’s a privilege to be mayor, but my goal is not to make a career out of it. I don’t believe in political dynasties.”

Waters first ran for mayor in 2008 but was defeated by former Mayor Don Murphy by seven votes in a runoff.

“I didn’t know how to campaign or how to raise money,” he said. “I learned so much from losing that I had to try again in 2012.”

During his 2012 campaign Waters said he learned about the power of social media. Waters said Pelham residents can see what he’s been up to on his Facebook page, Gary Waters for Mayor. He said door-to-door campaigning is not as effective as it once was.

“When you go knocking on someone’s door at 2 p.m. on a Saturday, one of the only days they have off work, some aren’t too happy,” he said.

Waters, former Pelham fire chief and an Army veteran, is serving his first term as mayor. His opponent is 22-year Pelham resident Lenny Glynn. In addition to the mayoral race, each city council place is contested.

Waters said he’s happy to see so many community members interested in serving the city. He said heavily contested municipal elections are a sign that the political atmosphere of Pelham is transitioning.

“I think it shows that a lot of people are not in agreement with actions being taken and want to be a part of making changes,” he said. “I’m glad that we have 16 people who have the courage to run for office.”