An Anniston city councilman and a sitting Calhoun County commissioner are set to vie for the District 1 County Commission seat in this year’s elections.
Anniston Councilman David Reddick said he believes he can do more for the community as a commissioner.
“I’m limited in what I can do on the council,” Reddick said. “As a councilman you don’t have a budget like a commissioner does.”
Reddick has qualified to run against sitting District 1 Commissioner Fred Wilson, who has held the seat since 2012. Both men are Democrats — the only Democrats to qualify to run for county-level offices so far, according to Sheila Gilbert, county party chairwoman.
Qualifying for the 2018 elections doesn’t end until Feb. 9, and some incumbents have yet to qualify for re-election. There’s no Republican yet in the race for District 1, which encompasses Anniston neighborhoods such as Blue Mountain and Lenlock as well as Hobson City. The district, once held by six-term commissioner “Pappy” Dunn, has trended Democratic for decades.
Wilson said he’s in the running to “finish the projects that we started” during his term. He cited the county’s acquisition and reopening of Woodland Park — a long-unused softball complex — and expansions at the plywood company Kronospan as examples of the commission’s work during his term.
“We work well together,” Wilson said of the current commission.
Wilson said that as commissioner he got a new bridge built in Hobson City, as well as a new community center for Blue Mountain.
Spending on local projects is a core role for county commissioners, who have the power to spend infrastructure money, but often have to go to the Legislature to get policies and projects approved. Alabama’s Constitution allows city councils more local control over policy.
Wilson said that setup means a councilman is often more powerful than a commissioner.
“The council has power over policy, but when it comes to getting projects done, funding is the issue,” he said.
Reddick said that as commissioner, he’d also take a close look at animal control. Stray animals are becoming a noticeable problem in Anniston and Hobson City, he said.
“We’ve got to get these dogs off the street,” he said.
The primary election will be held June.