Powell’s one of lucky ones

Published 12:26 am Saturday, July 21, 2012

August’s municipal elections in Andalusia, Opp, Florala, Red Level, River Falls and Gantt aren’t about whether or not the respective mayors will be replaced or continue to serve.

It won’t be about who will emerge the victor in the rematch of a race Hazel Griffin won by one vote four years ago against Andy Alexander for the Andalusia City Council, nor about whether Bridges Anderson will regain the seat he lost to Will Sconiers four years ago.

These races are not about what is happening or not happening in Washington; not about being anti-government.

They are about you; they are about us. All of us who live in Andalusia, Opp, Florala, River Falls, Gantt, Red Level and other hamlets of Alabama, and what we want for our futures.

The candidates who have made themselves available for public service have 48 long, hot days ahead of them.

Andalusia Mayor Pro Tem Terry Powell is one of the lucky ones. The two-term council member is unopposed in his quest for re-election, as are the two city school board members whose terms were up this year, Amy Dugger and Bill King.

When qualifying closed on Tuesday and no one had stepped up to challenge him, Terry was surprised and humbled.

“I expected someone to run. That’s the American way,” he said, then added with a smile, “I’m OK that nobody did.”

The financial manager at Shaw Industries, also represents the city on its Utilities Board. He also is pastor of Mobley Creek Baptist Church, and on the board of trustees for Andalusia Regional Hospital.

“I’ve done what I told the people I would do, which was to represent them with honesty and integrity and dignity, and I plan to do that another four years,” he said Tuesday afternoon.

Having sat through 99 percent of the council meetings in the past six-plus years, I can attest that Terry reviews the city’s finances with a fine-tooth comb, and has input into the budgeting process.

When he announced in April that he would seek reelection, he talked about the work he’s seen accomplished in the past eight years, and said he was most pleased to have the city’s credit rating improved from an A- to a solid A by Standard and Poor’s.

“And this was accomplished during the worst economy of my lifetime,” the Vietnam veteran said.

While we already know that Terry, Amy and Bill will have important roles in shaping Andalusia’s future, our collective futures are 48 days away. It’s up to us to decide who the smart, resourceful, open-minded candidates who will take us forward are.

Forty-eight days. Our future is nearing.