Cleaning up city, adding health care trio’s top priorities in Florala race

Published 1:18 am Friday, August 12, 2016


Florala’s was a friendly forum of candidates who advocated working together, cleaning up the town, and making the community a better place to live.

The Carver Community Center last night hosted candidates participating in the Aug. 23 municipal elections. Each candidate was given time to speak, then time to rebut. Current Councilwoman Hazel Lee, who chose not to seek reelection, moderated.

“The No. 1 thing people want is to clean up the town,” mayoral candidate Terry Holley said. “Everybody I’ve talked to said this.

“You can’t go wrong with any of the applicants,” Holley, the retired former superintendent of Covington County Schools, said. “All three of us want to improve.”

Holley said because the state has returned Lake Jackson, once a state park, to the city, the city has an obligation to keep it manicure.

“It is beautiful,” he said. “If we keep it manicured, people will come.”

Marvin Williford, a current council member who also is seeking the mayor’s office, agreed.

“We have been working on it,” he said. “We’ve been sending letters and trying to get people to clean up their property.

Political newcomer Justin Jackson, also a mayoral candidate, also said enhancing the community is part of his platmore.

“We’ve got to make it inviting.”

Candidates also agreed that addressing health care services is critical. Florala’s hospital closed suddenly in December of 2013.

Holley said as chairman of the town’s industrial development board, he already has worked to get an urgent care or other health care services in the town.

“We thought we had some help from the old hospital,” he said. “There are two beautiful buildings out there. But there is a problem. The hospital has an IRS lien on it.”

The facility is owned by a physician who lives in another state.

Jackson said, “Urgent care is definitely something we need to pursue coming here.”

The three also agreed it is critical that council members and community members all work together.

“As Mr. Holley and Mr. Marvin already said, we can’t be pulling at one another; what’s better for the majority is what’s best for city,” Jackson said. “ We can’t pull from one area to the other. Each person is the same.”