In just a few short days, our residents have the opportunity to vote and bring about change in our government at City Hall. The existing council has been subject to significant criticism primarily regarding critically needed street repair and a proposed plan to spend in access of $1 million to build a water splash pad. Obviously, this simply is a choice in addressing potholes (infrastructure), and spending over $1 million of money the city DOES NOT HAVE to build the pad! Shouldn't our city live within its budget just like you and I?

On the surface, one would assume this to be a no-brainer, yet, our current council unanimously supported and voted to build the project. For the past 18 months, residents have been given empty promises on when to expect needed street repair. Here we are in August with essentially no progress being seen. Recent paving on Battle Street and Highway 21 were projects of the state since that is a state highway.

At the same time, and no less important, we have heard enough lip service about needed commercial and industrial development with very little to show for it. 

Our Highway 275 Bypass has been operational since 1991. Yet, 28 years later, there is virtually no development on the road. I have lived in Talladega 42 years and our population has been in slow decline the entire time. I am sure no one would disagree that our city schools are suffering with a continued exodus of students to other cities for an education.  

Hopefully, each voter will ask themselves: Is the current council doing an adequate job in managing our city, and are we justified in voting in a change? We know that two council positions will have a new leader and as research indicates, there is more than a 50 percent chance that at least one other seat will change leadership. That, alone, will be a change in the voting majority on the council. We have numerous well-qualified, capable candidates to choose from.

Please search your conscience and vote on Aug. 27 as if our future depends on it, because it does.

James W. Anderson