Foster, Jones vie for council

Published 3:00 am Friday, September 30, 2016

Two newcomers to city government are the final candidates running for the District 5 council seat in Brundidge.

Chris Foster and James Jones garnered 42.93 percent and 31.41 percent of the vote, respectively, in the August 23 municipal election to advance to the Oct. 4 runoff.

Jones said that inexperience in government could be a good thing.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“I don’t know if experience is a plus or a minus,” Jones said. “Being new, you seem to work harder at it. You’re free from baggage. The mayor and the council and city manager are almost like a big club. I’ll be free to vote for what’s best for District 5 and the City of Brundidge.”

Foster said that being a newcomer to city government means that he can continue serving the community without worrying about the election.

“I’ve been working in the community for a long time, so this election doesn’t make or break my efforts in the community,” Foster said.

Three things stand out for Foster that he’d like to work on as a councilman.

One of the issues he sees citywide is revitalization.

“A lot of people fear that Brundidge is going to dwindle away,” Foster said. “I share that fear. I don’t like seeing the empty storefronts on Main Street.”

Coming up with a new brand for the city and finding ways to bring people off  U.S. Highway 231 are ways that Foster said could help revitalize the city.

He also talked about improving the city’s recreation program.

“I’d like to see more youth programs offered in the community,” Foster said. “We don’t want kids to fall to the wayside. I was one of those kids lucky enough to college and get a good job. I’d like to see, perhaps, a liaison from the city to work more closely with the school system.

“There should be more things offered.”

One project that Foster has consistently talked about is redeveloping Galloway Park.

“I see it as a historic landmark in my district,” Foster said. “It’s a pivotal place for my community.”

Foster said that the building could possibly be redesigned and restructured and that unused tennis courts could be used for something. He said that having law enforcement drive through the area could improve safety concerns at the park.

Foster also said that he’d look into changing the council’s meeting time so that more people can come if they choose to.

Jones said that he would continue the work that was already being done by the council, including sidewalk and road repairs.

“There’s an empty seat and I always think it will be filled with someone dependable that can vote their conscience,” Jones said.

In addition to continuing the work of the current administration, Jones said that he would like to have a city park comparable to Troy’s Murphree Park.

“Galloway Park is okay for a handful of people, but we need a bigger park for multiple people,” Jones said.

He also said that he’d want to “straighten out” recurring instances in the district such as noise and safety concerns.

Another thing that Jones said he would look into is finding out electricity costs in neighboring cities such as Luverne, Union Springs and Ozark  to compare to Brundidge’s prices.

“If people find out that everyone has a high bill, they can accept it more,” Jones said.

District 5 residents can go to the polls on Tuesday, October 4, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. at Brundidge Station to cast their vote for either Jones or Foster. Residents can also vote for either Isabell Boyd or Cynthia Pearson for mayor.