By JB Clark/NEMS Daily Journal
SALTILLO – Voters will choose Tuesday between current Police Chief Steve Brooks and local surveyor Rex Smith to head the city of Saltillo for the next four years.
It’s one of four Lee County municipalities outside Tupelo that will elect a mayor in Tuesday’s general election, with Guntown, Plantersville and Verona also deciding who will lead their communities.
Saltillo is the only one of the smaller Lee County municipalities deciding between Democrat and Republican candidates in Tuesday’s general election. In the other towns, all candidates are independents.
Shannon, Baldwyn and Nettleton decided their mayor and aldermen in the May primaries.
Smith, the Republican nominee in Saltillo, said last week that things had quieted down going into the final days of the campaign and his main goal is to try to get people out to vote.
“I’ve learned new things about the city and I’ve seen the concerns of people and some of those are different than I thought,” Smith said. “There is a lot of concern about the appearance of the city.”
His main focus, if elected Tuesday, will be to keep property taxes low by meeting with residential developers to help expand the tax base and by working to bring in sales tax through new businesses.
“I know there are people out there just dying to come to Saltillo,” Smith said.
Brooks, the Democratic nominee, said he is hearing concerns about water cost and quality as well as recycling.
“I’m looking at keeping the city moving forward,” he said. “I’m going to recruit businesses and sit down with builders to see why they’re leaving town.”
Brooks also wants to see the Turner Park water project completed and an expansion of the public safety department.
Saltillo voters also will choose five aldermen Tuesday to represent the city at-large. Donald Cullum, Scott Knight, Brett Pearce, Craig Sanders and Brad Woodcock are running as Republican candidates for alderman. Knight and Woodcock are incumbents.
Wayne Dixon, Billy Flanagin, Terry Glidewell, Danny McCarley and Jewell Webb are running as Democratic candidates. Glidwell and Webb are incumbents.
Bob Davis and Gary E. (Bud) Herring are vying to fill the office being left empty by current retiring mayor Robert Herring.
Davis has previously served two terms as mayor. Gary Herring has served on the Lee County School Board and will retire from the U.S. Postal Service this year.
Candidates for alderman include Terry Robbins, incumbent Petey J. Hopkins, Chad McMahan, incumbent Greg Caigle, incumbent George (Mickey) Kuykendall, incumbent Jeff Herring, Brent (Squirrel) Lindsey and Paula Jean Barnett.
In Plantersville, Mayor Gloria Holland will seek a third term as mayor against former Lee County NAACP President Harold Arrington.
Candidates for alderman are incumbent Renee Morris, Chink Freeman, Charles Dale Heard, incumbent Sextus Shannon, incumbent Vicki Rigby and incumbent Ketrick Marion.
Incumbent Mayor Ben Logan is the only candidate who qualified to run for mayor in Sherman. This will be his fourth term.
The seven candidates for five seats on the Sherman Board of Aldermen are incumbents Martha Swindle, Wayne Bullock, Ann Simmons and Todd McDonald, along with challengers Jessie McBride, Mike Swords and Randy Bolen.
In Verona, voters will choose between three-term incumbent Mayor Bobby Williams and his opponent, former firefighter and police officer Robert Trice.
The city’s incumbent aldermen were the only ones to qualify in each of their races and will keep their seats.