Brundidge candidates look ahead to city elections

Published 8:52 pm Friday, May 8, 2020

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Even though the 2020 municipal Election Day is still months away, election signs are popping up among the springtime poppies in Brundidge.

Already, three candidates have visibly tossed their hats into the ring for the city mayor’s position including Mayor Isabell Boyd and local business owners, Mike McNally and Anthony Foster.

July 1 is the date for the city mayor to give notice of the upcoming city election. And candidates may qualify once the notice is published. July 21, 5 p.m. is the last day to qualify for the 2020 municipal elections.

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August 25 is Municipal Election Day. A runoff, if necessary is October, 6.

Brundidge Mayor Boyd, laughingly, said she saw the “vote for” signs and decided she had better go home and get her signs back out because her name will also be on the ballot.

“The mayor and council have a couple of projects underway that I would like to see finished and several projects that we are working on,” Boyd said. “The grant for Galloway Park is very important to the city. We need more recreational facilities for our children and young people. We also need recreation opportunities for our adults.

“We are moving forward with the renovation of the former Haisten Hardware building as an incubator business. Working with Pike County Economic Development, the city received a $100,000/ $10,000 matching USDA Rural Development grant for that project. This is an opportunity to start a business  in Brundidge and then grow their business in Brundidge.”

Boyd said she is encouraged by the new business activity of Main Street and is looking forward to continued growth.

Boyd said the city’s revitalization program is active and involved, including the efforts to honor the Pike County High School  athletes who have excelled beyond high school.

“A storm shelter is a need that must be addressed,” Boyd said. “That is something the we’ll be working on as we move ahead. wBrundidge has a lot to offer and, with all of us continuing to work together, we will prosper,” she said.

Mike McNally, owner of Pike PC in downtown Brundidge, said he has considered running for a position in city government for several years. With the 2020 elections upcoming, he began seriously considering the mayor’s race and received encouragement from his customers and townspeople.

“Brundidge has changed a lot during the 27 years I have lived here,” McNally said. “The crime rate is a huge concern for me. My business has been broken into eight times. I don’t believe that we can encourage new businesses to come to Brundidge until we bring the crime rate down.”

McNally said the Brundidge Police Department must be given the tools, the training and the resources necessary to reduce the crime rate and to prosecute those who are charged.

McNally said when the crime rate goes down, business opportunities will go up and more people will discover what he already knows.

“Brundidge is a great town with great people and there are many opportunities to grow and prosper,” he said. “I’m not going anywhere. This is my home and I would like to be a major player in its growth.”

Anthony Foster owns and operates Foster’s Barbershop on South Main Street in downtown Brundidge. He is a native of Brundidge and opted to come home and operate his business rather than in Atlanta where he was living at the time. Now, as a hometown business owner, Foster said he wants to be a part of bringing positive change to Brundidge. “It’s true that change is not always good,” Foster said. “But, when change is necessary, it is must. Change is necessary in Brundidge.”

Foster said, as a Main Street business owner and longtime resident, he is aware of the concerns expressed by city residents.

“We all know we have truck problem,” he said. “Trucks are tearing up the town. We need a truck stop but some say truck stops bring problems. We already have the problems. A truck stop would bring revenue into the city and we need those dollars to improve our town so that we can bring businesses that would benefit our residents. How long has it been since we had a laundry mat or a meat market?”

Foster said he believes in the interaction among city government and its citizens.

“You have to be open to the public and open with them,” he said. “We need to work together and for what is best for all our citizens. That would be my goal as mayor.”