In two days, you, the residents of Talladega, have the opportunity to begin the work of righting the ship.
The City Council and school board are up for election, and both bodies play a vital role in determining the direction and fate of the city.
The election is Tuesday. Polls are open from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Those 12 hours represent what’s possible for Talladega. The city can’t afford to spend another four years in stagnation rooted in political division and pettiness.
You can choose to install a City Council and school board that will turn the city toward a brighter future by working in harmony, pursuing infrastructure improvements and enhancing the quality of life, all while being responsible stewards of the city’s finances.
Or you could choose council and school board members who concern themselves with personal vendettas and selfish motives and further drive nails into Talladega’s coffin.
Here are your choices:
Ward 1: Dr. Horace Patterson (incumbent), Rodger Gunter and Dudley Gail Montgomery.
Ward 2: Vickey Robinson Hall, John Kidd and Duryea (Dewey) Truss.
Ward 3: Tom Lutchendorf, Joseph K. Power Jr. and David Street (incumbent).
Ward 4: Amy M. Calhoun-Bishop, Ricky Simpson (incumbent) and Betty Spratlin.
Ward 5: Joseph C. Ballow Sr., Travis Ford, Curtis Holman and Howard (Trae) Williams III.
Mayor: Van Caldwell, Katie Campbell, Jerry Cooper (incumbent), Paul Ledbetter, Timothy Ragland and Jennifer White.
BOARD OF EDUCATION
Ward 1: Sandra Beavers and Dixie Bonner.
Ward 3: Angela D. Estelle and Jake Montgomery (incumbent).
Ward 5: James Braswell (incumbent) and Susan Slaughter Gaskin.
Because they were unopposed, BOE candidates Mary McGhee of Ward 2 and Chuck Roberts of Ward 4 have already been certified by city election officials.
Key issues during the campaign have been whether to build a splash pad or pave streets; whether to build a centralized school facility; how to address and prevent crime, especially gun violence; how to bring jobs and new business into the city; and how to bring harmony and unity to our governing bodies and move past the division that consistently holds the city back.
The Daily Home Editorial Board does not endorse candidates in local races, but we do recommend that you vote for the candidates who best align with your views and standards — not your best friend, but who’s best for Talladega.
A special election section in last Sunday’s Daily Home sought to introduce you to each of the candidates and share their views on a few basic issues. Free copies of those special sections were available at last Tuesday’s candidates forum at The Ritz Theatre. At the forum, candidates had the opportunity to make their case for your vote while publicly answering questions on local issues submitted by Daily Home readers.
We thank our fellow sponsors — the Greater Talladega and Lincoln Area Chamber of Commerce and Executive Director Jason Daves, and Ritz Theatre Executive Director George Culver.
We also thank the hundreds of residents who submitted questions and attended Tuesday’s forum.
Countless hours went into preparing the special election section and the candidate forum, but we didn’t do it because we thought it was going to be easy. We did it because we believe you deserve every opportunity to make the most informed decision on Election Day. The future of Talladega depends on it.
Our part is done. Now it’s up to you.