Four vie for LaFayette mayor

Published 9:00 am Saturday, August 22, 2020

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The position of mayor of LaFayette is the most contested race for the Aug. 25 election in all of Chambers County, as incumbent Mayor Barry Moody faces off against three candidates. He faces Anna Troxell, Brandon Brooks and Kenneth Vines on Tuesday.

Moody has been the mayor of LaFayette for the past eight years. According to a list of his accomplishments, that he directed the Valley Times-News to, he has worked for the city of LaFayette for more than 30 years in a management role.

As mayor, the city has one of the largest solar farms in the southeast United States and has received grants to fix the roads and replace old pipes in the city.

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“Although much progress has been made that we can all be proud of, we are facing new challenges and difficulties that will require experience at the highest level to continue our successes,” Moody said in the statement. “I ask for your prayers and continued support. Managing a city with 3,000 citizens is not an easy job. I make only one promise, I will  work hard to make LaFayette and the surrounding communities a better place to raise our children, grandchildren and future generations.”

Vines is the former LaFayette Police Chief. If elected mayor, Vines said he would work to supply downtown LaFayette with more businesses.

“We have a lot of stores in the downtown area that need to open up for business,” Vines said. “We just need to get some retail stores in the city.”

Vines also wants to improve the city’s infrastructure, especially the city’s water pipelines.

“We’re so far behind,” Vines said. “Our water treatment center is over 40 years old. We just need to do some upgrades.”

He also wants to add a housing development, which the city hasn’t had since 1981, according to Vines.

Vines believes if they can accomplish these goals, the city’s population will start to rise again.

“I love the city of LaFayette, and I want to see some type of progress. If not, we’re going to continue to lose our citizens,” Vines said. “We have to give our citizens a reason to stay.”

Troxell has lived in LaFayette the last two years, and she wants to see some changes in the city.

She wants the city to make long-term fixes instead of making temporary fixes.

“There’s money out there for us to fix things, they [the current city government] are just not doing it,” Troxell said.

One of her main running points, like Vines, is to replace the water lines of the city.

“We’re going to get the water lines fixed,” Troxell said. “You can’t really pave a road and then two weeks later, tear the roads up because you have a water line busted.”

After getting the water lines fixed, she plans to turn her attention to the city’s roads and make sure they are repaved and not just repatched. After both of those projects are complete, she wants to turn attention to adding businesses.

Brooks wants to see businesses come to the city of LaFayette, which will allow the city to grow.

He gave the example of West Point.

“It mirrors LaFayette,” Brooks said. “If you went downtown before Kia, it looked just like LaFayette. As soon as a major industry like Kia came, it blew up overnight. I want to see major jobs come to our area, so we can grow as a city.”

If elected, he wants to form a committee that will seek out jobs for the LaFayette area.

Brooks holds a master’s degree in business administration, which he feels can help him, but more importantly, he believes he is a person that the public can reach out to at any time.

“When it comes to being a mayor, you have to be unselfish and a man of the people,” he said. “You can’t just be a politician. You have to listen to people. I grew up in LaFayette, and I’ve seen nothing change over the course of my life.”