Time to vote

Published 11:00 pm Friday, September 30, 2016


Cynthia Pearson and Isabell Boyd both have years of experience as members of the Brundidge City Council.

Now Brundidge residents must decide which of them will be better suited to take over as mayor after Jimmy Ramage stepped down and lost his bid for the District 4 council seat.

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Both candidates said that change is inevitable.

“There’s nothing wrong with change,” said Pearson, who currently serves on the council. “I knew Jimmy wouldn’t be there forever. If I’m elected, Brundidge won’t be losing any experience.”

Pearson has served 24 years on the council.

“Change to me is something that’s going to occur and you just have to roll with it,” said Boyd, who previously served 16 years on the council. “I would be honest and do the best I can along with the council and administration to continue the upkeep of Brundidge.”

Both Pearson and Boyd talked about the importance of improving the city’s recreational department and activities.

“We have kids walking the streets,” Pearson said. “We need to provide other opportunities. We need to work on the ball fields and make sure that the citizens have access to them.”

Pearson also stressed the need for safety at city parks.

“Ramage Park, Brundidge Station – these areas need to be safe,” Pearson said.

“I feel we need an assistant or a committee to help come up with a complete comprehensive plan,” Boyd said. “All kids don’t play football, basketball and soccer. We need to provide other things, maybe swimming.”

In outlining her plans for improving recreation, Boyd said she would talk with Pike County Schools Superintendent Dr. Mark Bazzell to see about the school system getting a pool.

“How many kids do we have that don’t know how to swim?” Boyd asked.

Both candidates also talked about providing youth work programs of some kind.

“We need summer jobs for our children,” Pearson said. “My first job was a summer job at City Hall.”

“We need a work program for kids 16 to 18,” Boyd said.

One of Pearson’s goals as mayor would be to “close the gap” between people in Brundidge.

“Economics, race, all of it is separating people,” Pearson said. “I want to see people come together for more than football games and natural disasters. We should come together because we love Brundidge.”

Another issue that Pearson talked about is making sure that city employees are taken care of.

“I want to make sure that every employee is treated like they should be,” Pearson said.

One of Pearson’s main concerns is the city’s branding, which some residents have said needs to change.

“We need to bring more retail into downtown Brundidge,” Pearson said. “I don’t want to see it become a ghost town.”

“A lot of people want to get away from the ‘antique city’ brand,” Boyd said. “I’d leave that up to the citizens. I’d like to have a survey done with the BBA.”

One of Boyd’s key plans is bringing together a group to look at business recruitment.

“I want to establish a better working relationship with the Industrial Board, the BBA, the Pike County Commission and the state representative and senator,” Boyd said. “They all play a part in getting things done. We need to work together to encourage investment.”

Boyd said that she also wants to upgrade nutrition center.

“It’s behind the times,” Boyd said. “More programs need to be offered to encourage more people to attend on a daily basis.”

Both candidates agreed that Brundidge needs to find a way to pull traffic off of U.S. Highway 231, but neither could offer a solution to the problem.

They also agreed that residents want more transparency in city government and both said that they want to provide it.

Whichever candidate is elected mayor on Tuesday, she will be both the first black mayor in Brundidge history and the first female mayor in the city’s history.

“Regardless of the outcome, everyone should still be invested in the City of Brundidge,” Pearson said. “It’s about the big picture.”

The runoff election will be held on Tuesday, October 4. Residents can cast their vote between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. at Brundidge Station.

District 5 residents will also be voting between James Jones and Chris Foster for the District 5 council seat.