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Boyd, Ramage vie for mayor post in runoff

The Brundidge Municipal Runoff Election is set for Tuesday, October 6 with the mayor’s seat along with two council seats on the ballot.

Incumbent Mayor Isabell Boyd and former Brundidge mayor Jimmy Ramage will lead the ballot with incumbent District 1 council member Betty Baxter facing newcomer Douglas Hollard and incumbent District 2 council member Alexandria Griffin being challenged by Latisher Hall also a newcomer to city politics.

Boyd is seeking a second term as the Brundidge mayor while Ramage is hoping to reclaim the mayor’s seat after four years away from city politics.

Asked what they would wish for their city if Aladdin granted each of them one wish, both Boyd and Ramage fielded the question rather easily.

“I would ask for $40 million to put new fronts on all the stores on Main Street to encourage more business downtown,” Boyd said. She also said she would wish for a Boys and Girls Club, but the genie only granted her one wish.

Boyd said her desire is for every city resident to have the opportunity to have a job in Brundidge. 

“We need to encourage our employers to hire local when possible,” she said. “Brundidge is continuing to grow, slowly, but we are not at a standstill.  We have several new businesses in town and interest has been expressed in several of the vacant downtown stores. We all need to support and grow local businesses.”

The city recently received a USDA Rural Development Grant that is being used to renovate a city building as an incubator business.

“We have several Main Street buildings for sale and they are just waiting for someone to give them new life,” Boyd said. “We need to come up with new and innovative ideas for our downtown. Maybe something related to peanut butter that is part of our history or, as one of our residents has said, to our unique drinking water.”

Boyd said, for Brundidge to continue moving forward, its residents need to more involved.

“We need people to join our Brundidge Business Association,” she said. “You don’t have to own a business to join, just be interested in our town. Or to be more involved in the schools or local clubs and organizations. We need to work together to make Brundidge the best it can be.”

After having been away from public service for four years, Ramage said the reason he is offering himself to public service again is what he can bring to the table.

“Elected officials I have worked with over the years and have relationships with in Troy, Montgomery and Washington  have been very beneficial to our citizens and opened many doors of opportunities,” he said.  “These relationships assisted us with the Walmart DC, Southern Classic Food Group, the library annex project, downtown revitalization projects and grants for specific projects.”

As for his “one wish” Ramage said it would be to make certain every house in the city was occupied by the highest number of people that had ever lived there.

“We have vacant houses all over our city,” Ramage said. “Having people in those houses would help create a better opportunity for Brundidge to, once again, have a retail district.  Having the people would also help our churches, schools, the city’s library, nutrition center and recreation opportunities. We have an adequate number of jobs for our population but we do need more people living here.”

The former mayor said the strength of the City of Brundidge is its infrastructure.   

“Brundidge has excellent water, waste water and natural gas systems and electrical service throughout the city,” Ramage said. “The city owning its utilities is a big plus in industrial development. The city has land along the railroad for an additional industry. The city’s location on busy Highway 231 is a plus. Private sites are also available on the highway for industrial development.”

The runoff candidates for the council seats on the Brundidge City Council will be featured in the Weekend Edition of The Messenger.