Monday election to fill remainder of term

Published 5:00 am Monday, June 2, 2008

In the first election since Brookhaven’s annexation wasfinalized last year, two candidates will vie for the spot left openby the April 15 resignation of Ward Six Alderman Buddy Allen.

Businessman David Phillips and Parks Commission member RobertKenny will be on the ballot in Monday’s election to represent WardSix. The winner will serve the remainder of Allen’s term throughnext June.

Since the annexation, there have been a few changes to theward’s boundary lines, including bringing in parts of what used tobe the county and Ward Five and losing a portion to Ward One, saidCity Clerk Mike Jinks.

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Jinks said the polling place at Mamie Martin Elementary Schoolwill be open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Monday, and the votes willbe tallied after the polls close. The results will be certified byelections commissioners the next day.

“They actually have five days to certify the results, but we’vealways done it the next day,” Jinks said.

The newly elected alderman will be in place for the June 17board meeting, Jinks said.

Both candidates say they have campaigned hard in the monthsleading up to Monday’s election and are ready to take up the reins.While they said they feel there are several important issues, bothagree the future of the city is of utmost importance.

“I really want to see more businesses come into Brookhaven so wehave a better supply of jobs,” Kenny said.

Phillips, too, said the job market needs to be top priority inthe coming years.

“We provide our kids with a great education and instill valuesand work ethics in them, then we have no jobs for them when theyget out of college, so they go to metro areas,” Phillips said. “Howdo we retain the people we educate and work to build values in ifwe don’t have jobs for them to come back to?”

And within Ward Six, the candidates say they’ve gotten feedbackfrom residents that keeping a peaceful and happy ward is number oneon voters’ agendas. Both candidates said voters hadn’t talked aboutphysical issues nearly as much as just wanting their voice tocontinue to be well-represented in city government.

“These people just want good representation,” said Phillips.”They want someone who will listen to their issues and go to batfor them.”

The atmosphere of their area is also important to the voters,Kenny said.

“I’ve really enjoyed talking to them, and I’ve gotten some greatideas,” Kenny said. “I think we’re all looking for the same things.We all want a nice, safe community.”

Meanwhile, though, there are still things in the neighborhoodsthat need to be fixed and worked on, the candidates said.

“One of the first things I’m going to work toward is that wehave two railroad crossings at North Jackson Street and UnionStreet. We’ve got some crossties rotting out and it’s really bad,”Kenny said. “There are also a few streets that need drainage workas well.”

And the way to make those repairs and changes is to pay closeattention to budgeting and the business aspects of the decisionsthat are being made, Phillips said.

“It’s about fiscal responsibility, and the board is doing agreat job with it now,” said Phillips. “It’s important to take careof our day-to-day needs, but also to plan where we’re going withthese things.”