• 57°

Valley updates election qualifiers

VALLEY — During Monday’s city council meeting, city clerk/treasurer Kathy Snowden updated the council on qualifying for the Aug. 25 election. Qualifying continues until 6 p.m. ET until Tuesday, July 21.

Seven of the eight incumbents have qualified for new terms. The list includes Mayor Leonard Riley, Jim Clark in District 1, Jim Jones in District 2, Randall Maddux in District 3, Marquetta Madden in District 4, Henry Cooper in District 6 and Jimmy Gilson in District 7.

Incumbent Cassie Carlisle in District 5 has announced that she is not seeking another term. She said she has enjoyed her council service but thinks it’s time for someone else to represent the district.

Kendall Andrews is the lone candidate to qualify thus far in District 5. Bo Colley has qualified in District 1, opposing Clark. The other incumbents have no opposition thus far.

Carlisle said Monday she would like her successor to continue speaking up on something she has sought to have more awareness about — the unsightly appearance of the River View community due to littering.

“I’m concerned about the park down by the river. The littering there just seems to get worse and worse,” she said. “I am hoping my successor in District 5 will follow up on this with some kind of litter reduction program.”

In other discussion Monday night, Planning and Development Director Travis Carter encouraged Valley residents who have not filled out their Census to do that and send it in. Thus far, the city has less than a 60 percent response.

“Everyone needs to fill it out and send it in,” he said. “We need as good a count as we can. The Census count determines the kind of funding we will get for the next 10 years.”

Carter said that Census workers would be going door to door next week trying to count those who have yet to return their forms.

Clark urged everyone in the city to cooperate with Census workers should they come to their house.

“It won’t take long to do it, and they won’t enter your home,” he said.

Public Works Director Patrick Bolt told the council in Monday’s session that his department was very busy right now with grass cutting, pothole patching and assisting in road paving projects.

“Work has been going on along Combs Road,” he said.

Combs Road resurfacing is being funded by the Rebuild Alabama Gas tax. Chris Clark Grading & Paving and the Chambers County Highway Department are involved in the project along with Valley Public Works.

“We are continuing with our routine maintenance,” Bolt said, “and we are trying to answer all the c0mplaints we can.”

Valley Parks & Recreation Director Laurie Blount told the council that attendance was holding steady at the Community Center but that she would like to see participation get back to normal.

“We have something for everyone,” she said. “We are wiping down everything hourly, and we are practicing social distancing.”

Blount said that volleyball is taking place from 10 a.m. until noon on Saturdays and that she’s trying to organize a men’s softball league.

Blount is encouraging everyone to come out to Valley Farmers Market between 3 and 6 p.m. on Friday. It will be Free Tomato Sandwich Day. Four of the vendors will be providing the tomatoes, and the volunteers making the sandwiches will be using gloves. Each sandwich will be placed in a Ziploc bag.

“We’ve been having good turnouts when we start at 3 p.m., but it tapers off after that,” she said. “The best time to come is around 4 p.m. You won’t have to stand in line for long. It’s also a good idea to have an umbrella. It can protect you from the sun.”

Police Chief Tommy Weldon said that he would be one of the volunteers making tomato sandwiches on Friday.

“If you don’t want one, you can come and watch me eat one,” he said to laughter.

Blount is pleased with the participation on the part of Alabama farmers.

“We have from eight to 10 of them every Friday,” she said. “They have lots of fresh vegetables and fruits. Some vendors have really good cakes, jelly and baked items.”

Weldon also said that he’d recently talked to J.R. King of King Ford and was told that Valley Police Department’s three new Ford Interceptors would be arriving in late August or early September. Production and delivery got set back this year by the COVID-19 shutdown.

Maddux said that he had talked to State Rep. Debbie Wood about getting some help from the state on getting new lighting at Exit 77 on I-85.

“It’s dark there at night, and it’s hard to see the exit,” he said. “She told me she would send a letter to the state highway director about this.”

Riley wished her good luck with that.

“I sent a letter on that two years ago and am still waiting for a response,” he said.