Norris seeks District 2 seat on Opp council

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 28, 2012

Tommie Norris has announced his intention to seek the Opp City Council District 2 seat in the Aug. 28 municipal election.

Norris said he decided to run because he is tired of politics as usual.

“There is much work to be done in our city,” he said. “While other cities in this area are seeing growth and new businesses, we seem to be stuck in neutral, and as a business owner and longtime resident of Opp, I believe that has to change now.”

Norris, who owns The Upscale Barber and Style Shop at 121 W. Covington Ave., said he opened a business there, making a dramatic investment in refurbishing one of Opp’s old downtown stores, and he wants to see that kind of change for District 2 and the City of Opp.

“To be a great district in a great city means safe streets, strong economic development that will provide quality jobs with living wages that people can raise their families on,” he said. “Members of my family worked for the cotton mills, and when they closed, like so many of our friends and neighbors, they were put out of work,” he said. “We have had two new industries come to Opp with about 200 jobs since those mills closed. Look at Andalusia’s growth in recent years. Look at Geneva’s. Slocomb’s. They all are getting new businesses and industries, and all we seem to get is more excuses. This complacency needs to become a thing of the past! Are you tired of being told something is about to happen here and then nothing comes of it? I am, and that’s why I’m running for city council.”

Norris said progress will be seen in District 2 and the city, when Opp’s government is responsible with taxpayers’ money.

“We do not live in a monarchy,” he said. “It seems, as always, those who have the money continue to get rich, and the rest of us are left to scrimp and scrape to pay our utilities and whatever else comes along that we didn’t ask for,” he said. “When I am elected, I can assure you that I will not be a ‘yes man.’ I will question resolutions. I will question expenses. I have to run a business. I know I’m like many residents of this city who understand the concept of ‘living within my means.’ I believe our city government has a moral responsibility to be responsible and responsive, and it must be above reproach. I believe that decisions made must benefit the entire district and town and not just those with an old name or old money.”

Norris said he wants his campaign and election to inspire a public conversation on critical issues for the city and real solutions.

This is Norris’ first foray into the political arena, and he believes that makes him an ideal person to be on the Opp City Council. He said he has never been one to follow the beat of someone else’s drum.

Recently, Norris and his brother helped organize the Opp Softball League.

Norris believes the city needs to bring more activities to the community for adults and youth alike.

One of his goals is seeing the city pool become available to the citizens again.

He also said he is discouraged by the feedback he gets when talking to people about voting.