By JB Clark/NEMS Daily Journal
BALDWYN – Baldwyn’s three mayoral candidates in the May 7 Democratic primary want to bring something new to the city, whether it’s infrastructure, development or opportunity.
Incumbent Mayor Michael James said his biggest accomplishment was bringing the first Boys and Girls Club to Baldwyn, along with some industrial growth. Now he said he wants to bring infrastructure improvements.
“My immediate goals will be improving infrastructure – streets, water and sewer,” he said. “We’ll continue to seek economic growth and I want to continue to improve all of the services the city provides.”
The 48-year-old mayor said he is seeking a second term because he wants to continue to help the community and thinks his business experience from running Southern Auto Sales gives him a strong background, along with his previous four years in office.
Jim Grisham, 47, has never served as an elected official, but he has served on the board of the Baldwyn Chamber of Commerce, Baldwyn Rotary Club and original Brice’s Crossroads board.
“I just want to bring a change to Baldwyn with high energy and fresh ideas in the mayor’s office,” he said. “We need to change the way people think about Baldwyn and get it to start grow a little bit.”
Grisham said he wants to make the city attractive so that business will come.
“Once we can have residents to support retail, we can look at lowering the burden of the taxes on residents,” said the Carlock Automotive business manager and 12-year Baldwyn resident. “I have been in other towns and been on chamber boards and committees and helped my business grow in every place I’ve been.”
Roslynn Clark Copeland, 49, said she has been working to bring higher education opportunities to Baldwyn and would use the position as mayor to continue that work.
“I see business coming to town, but our children don’t have a way to be trained or transportation to Booneville or ICC for training,” Copeland said. “I think we can have more workforce training and I would like to bring some higher education to the town through people like Northeast Mississippi Community College.”
Copeland has traveled as a traveling nurse and as a member of the Reserve Army Nurse Corps and said she wants to bring the knowledge of the places she’s been to Baldwyn.
She also works as an author and independent filmmaker.
If no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote May 7, a runoff will be May 21. The primary winner will not have general election opposition.