There are four candidates running for mayor in Prattville, including an incumbent who is seeking his first elected term to the job.
William Gillespie, Junior, became mayor when Jim Byard was appointed head of ADECA by Governor Bentley a year and a half ago. During that time he's cut city spending to deal with a municipal debt, a debt he says is under control now.
"I think I've done just as well as anybody else could have. there's been a lot of hard work, not only for myself, but from the council, the finance director, all of our department heads, all of our employees, so I'm very satisfied with that. There's still a lot that needs to be done and i can only see more improvements being done over the next four years under my leadership."
Gillespie also says he has made progress in filling the empty storefronts in East and West Prattville.
Challenging Gillespie is former police officer and businessman Keith Gamble, who says he way the city is run will change if he's elected. "I do believe that previous administrations were at fault. However, our debt is manageable. Our debt can be resolved to a , to an area, basically we can grow our city from. We can grow our city currently if they will restructure some of the work they are doing." About attracting new business to the city's empty storefronts, Gamble says growth is one of the main reasons he's running. he says there's been no economic development investment by the current administration, and funds have been cut to the chamber of commerce.
Also on the ballot is Devore Montai Walking John Da Voe Jones, Executive Director of a group called the Single Adults Support Center Multi-Purpose and Multi-Cultural Arts Center. He doesn't see the existing debt as a major problem:
Will you continue to cut back on that debt? or is that a problem for you? "Well, what I would do as I understand it, is the city is only paying on the interest of that debt, and not paying on the principal. I would restructure that debt so we are paying on the principle and interest at the same time.
And regarding development Jones says he would push for legalizing the sale of alcholoic beverages on Sundays in Prattville.
And also in he running for Prattville Mayor is former Autauga County District Judge Phillip Wood, who says the city's debt problem... is a problem:
"We need to be looking at building another fire station for the western part of the city and things like that that we are very limited in being able to do with the debt load that we are carrying. There has been some reduction in the amount of indebtedness, but it needs to be reduced significantly.
Wood says the empty storefronts in Prattville's downtown and retail centers near the interstate could be filled by restoring the ctiy's economic development efforts, which he says have been virtually eliminated by the current administration/
Prattville resident will go to the polls on august 28th to select one of those four men as mayor.