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Childersburg ballot will be busy with races for mayor, 3 council seats (with photos)

CHILDERSBURG -- With municipal elections coming up Tuesday, Aug. 25, The Daily Home asked local candidates to submit some information about themselves and answer some questions. 

The questions were the same for all candidates.

Below is information on the candidates for Childersburg and their answers to four questions. 

Mayor

DAMON EARL WARREN

Damon Earl Warren is a candidate for mayor of Childersburg. He has no previous political experience, but his father and brother were both past Childersburg City Council members. He is endorsed by the American Legion of Childersburg.

What is the biggest challenge facing your municipality in the next four years, and how do you anticipate meeting that challenge?

The biggest problem is finances and growth. I anticipate a financial boost by developing a “recreational harbor” on the Coosa River. The harbor would have a multipurpose amphitheater overlooking it and a dock alongside for a riverboat cruise. Hopefully, the same tourists who come for a fishing tournament or other recreation would also visit grist mill park and remain in town for a few days. With the finances generated, needed employees, roadwork and infrastructure could be better achieved. If the town becomes more prosperous, then others may seek to relocate here.

Why are you the right person for this job?

I have sold my lake home of 32 years and returned to the city limits of Childersburg because I am truly concerned for its well-being. To lose population and businesses, as is occurring, is not a bright future. I have a dream and a belief in Childersburg that it can do much butter than it is currently doing. The fine citizens deserve better. As a 30-plus year small business entrepreneur, I have dealt with over a thousand businesses, and I would apply that knowledge in recruiting and supporting local business and managing the town affairs.

Think about the current administration. What has it done well, and where has it been lacking?

The only thing the current administration has done is manage to pass a budget and procure better police vehicles. The area of “been lacking” is much more fertile.’ The current administration has failed to grow the city with businesses that fill the needs or produce factory or manufacturing jobs. It has continued to rape the Childersburg Industrial Park funds for personal projects. I will restructure CIP so that this no longer occurs. Water fountains and splash pads in the wilderness do nothing to prosper or progress the city as the current administration will continue to see the population decrease and businesses close.

If elected, what is the first priority for your term?

First priority is to ensure that funds are in place to meet the city’s current operational requirements and needs. 

KEN “YANK” WESSON

Efforts to obtain information from Mr. Wesson were unsuccessful

Council Ward A

BRANDON ROBINSON

Brandon Robinson is running for re-election to Childersburg Council Ward A. He is a graduate of Mellow Valley High School and Central Alabama Community College with an associate degree in electronics technology. He works as an electrician at Nemak Alabama. “I am married to Fain Robinso, an RN at Brookwood Medical Center. I have four children. I am the son of the late Ronnie Robinson from the 127th Medic Unit in Ashland. I have served four years on the Childersburg City Council. I am a Certified Municipal Officer with The Alabama League of Municipalities.  

What is the biggest challenge facing your municipality in the next four years, and how do you anticipate meeting that challenge?

The biggest challenge will be to continue our trash and limb pickup with the city. Childersburg is one of the few cities that still offers two-day-a-week pick-up not operated by an outside source. The (pandemic) and the (governor’s) plan to no longer house workers at the Childersburg camp have created a burden on our city, which will require us to make big decisions … I will work with the next administration to keep these services from being outsourced. I will explore options such as redesigning our trucks with lifts ... I would also like to see another limb truck added. 

Why are you the right person for this job?

Because I have worked hard for this city the last four years and have been a part of a great administration that is moving in a positive direction … I have also supported local churches, schools and businesses. I have spent hours attending classes with the League of Municipalities to better my education … so I can, in return, better my city. I always look out for the best interest of my city and the constituents I have been elected to serve. I am always available to my constituents and I always keep them informed.

Think about the current administration. What has it done well, and where has it been lacking?

The current administration has been a pleasure to work with and has moved this city forward … I have worked with (them for) yearly wage increases and new equipment and vehicles for first responders. We have seen new equipment for our Street Department, which included new trash trucks. We have gotten new LED lighting … We have worked together to accomplish much-needed maintenance upgrades throughout ... We have seen multiple new businesses come to the city. I guess (the only thing)  lacking from the current administration is we just ran out of time to finish many of the projects we had planned for the future.

If elected, what is the first priority for your term?

Question 4: My first priority is to complete the many projects (we) have been working on. 

PETE STOREY

Pete Storey is running for Childersburg City Council Ward A. A graduate of Childersburg High School, he worked for the nonprofit Regional Health Care Network and is a past director of the Chamber of Commerce. He graduated from the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for Organizational Management in 2012. He is married to Crystal, and they have three daughters, Allison Todd (Brandon), Valerie Cockerham (Romairo) and Alexandra Ricks (Asa), and five grandchildren, Briggs Tood, Bowman Todd, Reagan Todd, Chloe Cockerham and Mia Cockerham.

What is the biggest challenge facing your municipality in the next four years, and how do you anticipate meeting that challenge?

The biggest challenge Childersburg is facing in the next four years is commercial and Industrial growth. This has been the challenge for the last 25 plus years. We have the best resources any small town would love to have, the Coosa River and a major four-lane highway. In meeting this challenge, I pledge to work with the mayor and council to devise a plan to engage our county, state and national leaders that can assist us in the recruitment process. When we all come together and work as a team, I believe we can meet and exceed these challenges. 

Why are you the right person for this job?

I am a lifelong resident of Childersburg. My parents owned a store, and I am the former CEO of the Chamber of Commerce. I graduated from the U.S. Chamber's Institute of Organizational Management  in 2012. I have been a member of the Childersburg Kiwanis club that built the playground downtown. The experience I gained working at our Chamber will be helpful in the role of a councilman. My love for Childersburg and to be able to help see our city grow and flourish is unparalleled. I am a hard worker and willing to listen to our citizens' concerns to help make our city truly outstanding.

Think about the current administration. What has it done well, and where has it been lacking?

The current administration has done a good job overall. They created the Childersburg Development Authority to help make major improvements to downtown and the buildings. What they have lacked is not being aggressive enough recruiting Industry and another grocery store after Winn Dixie closed. They have not developed a plan for the acreage on the Coosa River for park and recreation. I pledge to help meet these needs.

If elected, what is the first priority for your term?

If elected, my first priority will be to start work on recruiting a grocery store and to develop a plan for the park and recreation property on the Coosa River. 

Council Ward D

WESLEY ALLEN

Wesley Allen is running for Childersburg City Council Ward D. He has a Bachelor of Science in information technology and works as an information systems technician at Coosa Valley Electric Cooperative. He is also the owner of Nashburg Recording Studio. His wife is Kim, and they have a 3-month-old son, Troy. I have no elected office experience. I have had experience on municipal board positions.

What is the biggest challenge facing your municipality in the next four years, and how do you anticipate meeting that challenge?

The biggest challenge is keeping our infrastructure and the services provided by the city up to par to meet the demands of a growing area — especially in the 280 corridor. I want to make sure we use as many resources at our disposal to promote the city of Childersburg to be a leader in small towns and not just a follower.

 Why are you the right person for this job?

I am not doing this for my own personal gain but simply to help our city be the best it can be. I firmly stand on the teachings of Christ and believe leaders are appointed by God and have a responsibility to conduct themselves in a way that would make God, country and family proud.

Think about the current administration. What has it done well, and where has it been lacking? 

I am proud of what the current administration has accomplished and continues to accomplish. I think our mayor and council have done a fantastic job. I’m running simply because our councilman was not running again. I want to continue the positive steps forward by making sure the city continues to promote growth through industry -- which will bring more residential and commercial growth.

 If elected, what is the first priority for your term?

4. My #1 priority is to use my vote to make sure the Childersburg Industrial Park is promoted and eventually the home to a large employer for our area. The current administration has already done so much to move forward on the park, and I want to continue to do all we can to make it as attractive as possible for the next large business in Talladega County.

WILLIAM “JUNIOR” OWINGS

Junior Owings is running for Childersburg City Council Ward D. A graduate of Sylacauga High School, he works in building material sales. He and his wife, Trudie, have been married for 32 years and have two sons -- Joshua, currently serving in the U.S. Navy, and Lucas, a student at Central Alabama Community College. He and his wife have also fostered at least 10 other children over the years and are caring for three foster children currently. He has never held public office.

What is the biggest challenge facing your municipality in the next four years, and how do you anticipate meeting that challenge?

The biggest challenge is to get businesses opened up and get people back to work, while, at the same time, bringing new industry into Childersburg, which means jobs for the people and revenue for our local businesses and our city. 

 Why are you the right person for this job?

I am a firm believer in moving forward in the face of adversity. I don’t always take “no” for an answer. I believe with diligence and hard work anything can be accomplished. 

Think about the current administration. What has it done well, and where has it been lacking? 

I haven’t seen anything, in Ward D, that has changed or been improved upon, in many years. Is that good or bad?

 If elected, what is the first priority for your term?

Refer to question #1. 

Council Ward E

TOMMY IVEY

Tommy Ivey is running for Childersburg City Council Ward E. He graduated from Childersburg High School and attended Auburn University. He retired from Bowater, Kimberly Clark and Honda after 43 years. He is married to Denise McMillan Ivey, and they have two daughters,

Cassandra and Amber. He has no previous political experience

What is the biggest challenge facing your municipality in the next four years, and how do you anticipate meeting that challenge? 

Biggest challenge is to grow the city with new businesses and seek new industry. The mayor is working diligently to achieve these goals, along with the council.

Why are you the right person for this job?

I have lived in Childersburg all my life. I plan to be available to all. I want everyone to know me and feel free to contact me at any time. I will get back in touch with you and keep you up-to-date on any issue you have. I would like to talk with citizens about problems and do my best to help in solving problems with the mayor and other council members. If elected, I want to be a part of this team and a spokesperson for my district.

Think about the current administration. What has it done well, and where has it been lacking? 

The current administration has worked to better our city. Many buildings in town have been refurbished. Grants have been obtained to do this work as well as new ambulances, police cars and repairs to many drainage issues. Work has taken place all over the city to make it look better. 

 If elected, what is the first priority for your term?

 My first interest is to see that all citizens have a person they can talk with about issues. They need someone to work for them and keep them up-to-date with concerns. 

MICHAEL MCLAIN

My name is Michael McLain. I am seeking re-election for Childersburg City Council Ward E. I have an associate degree from CACC and have worked for CACC for almost 17 years as a maintenance technician. I am married to my high school sweetheart, Fran, and we have one daughter. I'm a certified municipal official.

What is the biggest challenge facing your municipality in the next four years, and how do you anticipate meeting that challenge? 

We have to continue to build our economic base by bringing in new businesses and industries.

Why are you the right person for this job?

I feel with the experience I have gained over the last four years and completing my CMO training, I am equipped to work hard for our city.

Think about the current administration. What has it done well, and where has it been lacking? 

We have done very well and we have a bright future ahead of us. We still need more revenue, as do most cities our size.

 If elected, what is the first priority for your term?

Recruit more businesses and help improve the overall well-being of our citizens with new projects and activities. 

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