CBS 8 Campaign 2012 The City Vote: Andalusia
Election day is almost a month away and two candidates have qualified to run for office in Andalusia, where the mayor's race is heating up.
It's been four years since Andalusia has seen these signs scattered across town. But there's another name posted along city streets.
Incumbent mayor, Earl Johnson, will face WAAO local radio owner, Blaine Wilson, in this year's mayor's election. Johnson says he wants to continue the progress made in the last four years, but Wilson says the city needs to reel in the spending.
"We've got a lot accomplished in this 4 years as far as infrastructure that needed to be improved and worked on," Said Johnson.
"There's nothing wrong with spending money if those jobs and quality of life issues come with that money," Said Wilson.
And creating local jobs is on the top of their to-do list.
"The biggest thing we want to do with our local businesses, particularly our retail businesses, is to bring in more jobs with more payrolls, so that people are in their stores, buying their goods and eating their food and shopping in their shops. That's the key to this economy and that's what we work so hard on," Said Johnson.
"We've got to focus on what made this community over the past 100 years -- and that's the people and the local businesses of this community," Said Wilson. "That's the backbone of this community. We've got to stop focusing on what we don't have and let's worry about what we do have and take care of that first."
Residents are anxious to see what will come of Andalusia after the election. Many say they'll have the economy in mind as they make their vote.
"More of the small businesses being supported and that's the reason why I'm really coming from Florida and kind of bringing that back to the small home town I was born and raised at. Kind of support the locals around town," Said local business owner, Rhonda Bullion, who is weeks away from opening her frozen yogurt shop in downtown.
"We need to see less spending by our city officials and more revenue brought in. More industry brought in. More jobs," Said local resident, Pam Doster. "Because we have people leaving Andalusia that have been here all their lives who can't get jobs and have to go out of town to get jobs. So that would be great."
Four city council seats are up for grabs, as well. District 5 council member, Terry Powell, is unapposed.
From the South Alabama Newsroom, I'm Catalina Trivino, CBS 8 News.