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Milford, Mangram run for District A

Of the five LaFayette City Council races, only the District A race does not feature an incumbent running for reelection.

Councilmember Neil McCurdy decided not to run for re-election, leaving the District A race between Emily Milford and Terry Mangram.

Mangram has previously served on the city council, as he held District A from 2012 to 2016 before losing to McCurdy in that election. He is seeking to regain that seat and continue progress from four years ago.

“While I was on last time, I feel like the city had moved quite a bit, as far as advancing on some things like recreation and just trying to do things that were positive for the city,” Mangram said. “Basically in the last four years, it feels like a lot of that has come to a standstill. I want to give it another shot and get things going again.”

Some of the projects Mangram said he would like to kickstart again were beautification projects in the downtown area of the city.

Beautifying downtown LaFayette, or as Mangram puts it, increasing the curb appeal, is a big part of his platform.

“Sidewalks and curbing streets, let’s dress those up and make them look nice,” Mangram said. “Sidewalks are a big thing. Some of them are not habitable for people to feel safe on.”

Recreation is another area he would like to see more growth. The new 52-acre park is a big component of the recreational growth that Mangram wants to accomplish over the next four years.

“They finished one small phase of the park, but we have 52 acres out there that need to be developed,” he said.

He believes a push from the council will get those projects going again.

“I think to get them going back [again], it’ll be more of a push, just push the issue,” Mangram said. “We’ll show the people that we’ve already spent money and time on some of this stuff, and there’s no point in just letting it go.”

Mangram believes his experience on the city council will help him during the upcoming term in terms of making decisions and listening to the public.

“I think my decision making will be a whole lot better from previous experiences,” Mangram said. “Knowing to go into things with an open mind and to look at things a little bit more when we vote on it. My past four years are going to help me with that.”

For the last couple of years, Milford has thought about getting into city politics, and when she found out McCurdy would not seek reelection, she thought that 2020 was the year to try to get involved.

“It was just a good opportunity. The door was kind of opened when [McCurdy] decided not to rerun,” Milford said.

Milford has been a resident of LaFayette almost her entire life. She attended Chambers Academy until she went to Auburn University. After graduating from Auburn, she returned to Chambers Academy, where she is the school’s guidance counselor.

She believes her experience as a guidance counselor will help her if she is elected to the council.

“I have the mindset geared toward the youth and people my age,” Milford said. “There’s not a whole lot of activities for a young adult in LaFayette. Because I am of the younger generation, and I work with the youth, I feel like my experience of what activities they enjoy and what is available that we can offer from a city level.”

One part of the recreation department that Milord brought up was the town’s Little League Baseball program.

“Over the years, it just hasn’t been a top priority to some people, and if there’s interest then we need to have that option available,” Milford said. “Otherwise, they’re going to go somewhere else.”

If she is elected, Milford wants to bring more activities to the city, bring in new food options, and like her competitor, she wants to improve the look of downtown LaFayette.

“I feel like there is a big movement in LaFayette, where people want to help out. They want to see the city improve, but they need the initiative from someone that has the time, effort and leadership ability to put that in motion and get that taken care of.”