Monday with the Mayor: Ramage holds ‘town meeting’ to speak with citizens

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, November 11, 2014

In an effort to keep Brundidge citizens better informed about city government and issues of concern among the townspeople, Mayor Jimmy Ramage initiated “Monday with the Mayor” that followed a town meeting type format.

The first Monday with the Mayor was held Monday night at the Pike County High School Fine Arts Building with 22 in attendance including three city council members, Betty Baxter, Cynthia Pearson and Margaret Ross.

Ramage said the number of participants was about what he expected.

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“I thought between five and 50 and the number was right between,” he said. “I was pleased with the turnout and especially with the wide range of questions. We enlightened people on the inner workings of the city and cleared up some rumors that have been circulating around town and that was good.”

Ramage fielded questions from the mayor’s salary to drainage problems and from utility rates to bumps in the road.

His response to most all questions was, “I’m glad you asked.”

“The questions gave me an opportunity to inform people about the good things about Brundidge,” he said. “Brundidge is in good shape financially. We only owe $7 million and that’s for upgrades to our utilities and wastewater treatment facility. Not many towns the size of ours can say that. We’ve been told that Brundidge has the best credit in the state.”

Ramage also expressed his pride in that Brundidge offers lower power rates than neighboring towns and cities, and in the fact that Brundidge continues to provide jobs for its citizens and those in outlying areas.

Chuck Caraway, president of the Brundidge Business Association and owner of Brundidge based Southern Classic Foods, said most other towns that lost their textile industries have not been about to rebound. However, Caraway said Brundidge has been able to provide jobs for its citizens through industrial growth in other areas.

Ramage said lower property values as well as lower rental property has potential business owners looking to locate in Brundidge.

“We have several new businesses on Main Street because people can afford to do business in Brundidge,” he said. “We are looking to purchase land for a new industrial park, so I feel good about the future of Brundidge. I don’t feel as good as I would like to, but I do feel good.”

Several concerns were expressed including truck traffic, street conditions, abandoned vehicles, standing water and the misuse of Galloway Park.

Larry Copeland had several questions and most of them were answered to his satisfaction.

“The meeting was informative,” he said. “We learned a lot we didn’t know about the city, and we learned the truth about some things that were circulated that were causing concern. ‘Monday with the Mayor’ is a good thing for the citizens of Brundidge. I’ll come back.”