Guntown candidates talk about managing fast growth

By JB Clark/NEMS Daily Journal

GUNTOWN – Two Guntown mayoral candidates say they are running for office to make sure their hometown maintains healthy growth in the coming years.
Bob Davis, 57, former mayor and current Guntown alderman, is running against Gary E. “Bud” Herring, 61, a 12-year veteran of the Lee County School Board and has lived in Guntown since he was 14.
The two independent candidates will face off in the June 4 general election.
Incumbent Robert Herring is not seeking re-election.
Davis said now that Guntown is a city, with more than 2,000 residents in the 2010 census, the growth needs to be managed.
“I’ve been here all my life and want to keep it growing,” he said. “We don’t want to blow out, but grow a little bit at a time.”
He said the current residential development needs to be encouraged so the city’s tax base can continue to grow.
“We just got through with a big sewer project a year ago and just about everyone in the city limits is on our sewer system,” he said.
“We’re just going to try to keep plugging along. We’re going to work on the water supply.”
He said as mayor he would work to get grant money and isn’t scared to get in a hole to help fix a water line if needed.
Herring sees opportunities in Guntown’s growth.
“I’m invested in the community and want to see if I can help the town progress,” he said. “It’s growing at a tremendous rate and I would like to work with the town and employees to get some things done.”
The first thing Herring wants to do if elected is listen to the community members and their ideas for the city.
From there, he would like to improve parks, add sidewalks and look at expanding the city limits.
“I’ve learned how to listen to people from my service on the school board,” he said.
“People have ideas and questions and don’t know how things work, and I have experience with getting answers to those people whether it’s what they expect to hear or not.”
jb.clark@journalinc.com