Politics: Montgomery, Alabama mayor runoff: What you need to know - PressFrom - US
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Politics Montgomery, Alabama mayor runoff: What you need to know

10:55  08 october  2019
10:55  08 october  2019 Source:   usatoday.com

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Big changes are coming for Montgomery when a new mayor and at least three fresh faces on the City Council will be elected to make important decisions for the city.

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Montgomery will elect a new mayor Tuesday after the last three mayors held office for at least a decade. Mayor Todd Strange did not seek re-election.

Three City Council seats are still up for election after five were decided in the Aug. 27 election. City Council members and the mayor are elected to four year terms. The newly elected officials will be elected to serve from 2020 to 2024.

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Who will be the next mayor?

Montgomery Probate Judge Steven Reed and TV station owner David Woods are competing in the runoff for mayor. Reed gained almost double the votes, 42%, as Woods in the August mayoral election against 10 other candidates. Woods had around 24% of the votes, beating out 10 other candidates to face Reed in the runoff. The winner will be sworn in as mayor Nov. 12 at Montgomery City Hall.

a man in a suit and tie: Mayoral candidates Steven Reed, left, and David Woods take their seats during a Mayoral Forum presented by Junior League of Montgomery at the Multiplex at Cramton Bowl in Montgomery, Ala., on Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019.© Jake Crandall/ Advertiser Mayoral candidates Steven Reed, left, and David Woods take their seats during a Mayoral Forum presented by Junior League of Montgomery at the Multiplex at Cramton Bowl in Montgomery, Ala., on Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019.

The mayor makes recommendations to the City Council, appoints staff, sets salaries and keeps the City Council informed on finances. The mayor appoints the finance director, executive assistant, sanitation director, street maintenance director, parks and recreation director.

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City officials tried to increase the mayor's salary to $125,000 last year but were unsuccessful. The mayor gets paid $95,000 per year.

Montgomery mayors typically stay in office longer than the four-year term. The past three mayors have stayed in office longer than average. Elected in 2009, Strange has been in office for a decade. Before him, Bobby Bright was also in office for a decade and the mayor before him, Emory Folmar, more than two decades.

The city could be on the verge of electing its first black mayor. Montgomery is one of the rare cities of its size in the South that has not elected an African American mayor.

Steven Reed

Steven Reed was elected Montgomery’s first African American probate judge in 2012. In 2015, he was the first probate judge in Alabama to issue same-sex marriage licenses. He was re-elected in 2018.

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  Steven Reed: Montgomery elects its first African-American mayor Steven Reed, the Montgomery County probate judge, beat TV station owner David Woods and will be sworn in as the city's first black mayor Nov. 12.Steven Reed, the Montgomery County probate judge, on Tuesday beat television station owner David Woods in a runoff, gaining 32,918 votes to Woods' 16,010 votes with 47 precincts of 47 precincts, according to incomplete, unofficial returns. He will be sworn into office Nov. 12 at Montgomery City Hall.

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He received a bachelor’s degree in 1996 in business administration with a focus in finance from Morehouse. He received a master's degree from Vanderbilt University in 2004. He was senior aide for four years to former-Lieutenant Gov. Jim Folsom Jr. who served as lieutenant governor from 2006 to 2010.

Reed attended Cloverdale Junior High and Jeff Davis High School. He opened a restaurant, Roly Poly Sandwiches in 2005. He's also worked for a management consulting firm.

He decided to run for mayor to address Montgomery's challenges like public education and safety. He talked about elevating the economy by being more receptive and supportive of young talent and making the off pace city more competitive.

► Steven Reed: Growing up the son of a politician informs Steven Reed's parenting

David Woods

David Woods has owned WCOV/Fox television station since 1985. He financially supports and volunteers for organizations that deliver supplies, drill wells, renovate schools and provide health clinics to poverty-stricken areas in African nations.

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Since 2007, he's donated and volunteered for Forgotten Children Ministries, a missionary organization providing services to children in Honduras.

Woods studied broadcasting at University of Alabama. After college, he worked as a doorman for three years at a hotel in San Diego before managing his father's television stations.

He plans to enhance public schools with his influence, and address the issue of unsupervised children by reopening community centers. He said he would solicit businesses to sponsor the centers in exchange for brand advertising. He plans to tackle the issue of blight by demolishing buildings, creating vacant lots and turning them into parks.

► David Woods: David Woods attributes his passion for philanthropy to his father

a screenshot of a cell phone: David Woods' plans to address the city's issues if he's elected as mayor.© Montgomery Advertiser David Woods' plans to address the city's issues if he's elected as mayor.

City Council candidates

There are three seats open on the City Council to represent District 3, District 5, and District 6. Like the mayor, City Council members are elected to a four year term. City Council meetings are open to the public and accept public comment.

City Council members make decisions on policy, proposing laws, passing codes and approving the budget.

African American and female representation on the Montgomery City Council will be disproportionate when compared to the city's racial and gender composition for another term.

The City Council will remain made up of four African American council members and five white male council members regardless of the outcome of the Oct. 8 runoff since five white men won seats in the Aug. 27 election.

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The ratio of males to females on the City Council was also disproportionate to Montgomery's population for the 2015 to 2019 term and that will remain the same. Of the remaining candidates going to the runoff, two are women and four are men.

The Montgomery Advertiser provides election coverage free to all readers as a public service. Consider supporting our mission to provide important updates to our community by subscribing today.

a screenshot of a cell phone: Some of Steven Reed's plans to address the city's challenges.© Montgomery Advertiser Some of Steven Reed's plans to address the city's challenges.

District 3: Tracy Larkin, Marche Johnson

Tracy Larkin is an U.S. army veteran of three years. He was elected to the City Council in 1999 and has served four terms non consecutively. Larkin was a Democratic candidate for the Alabama State House of Representatives in 2014. Larkin is a due-process hearing officer at the MPS Central Office of Student Services.

Marche Johnson is an Army veteran who was born and raised in Montgomery. She lived in Trenholm Court and Sheridan Heights neighborhoods. She has a bachelor's degree in psychology from Troy University.

District 5: C.C. Calhoun, Phyllis Harvey-Hall

Cornelius Calhoun is a former City Council member who served from 2003 to 2015. He's also a retired U.S. Army 1st Class Sergeant. He's an ROTC instructor at Sidney Lanier High School and deacon at First Baptist Church of Greater Washington Park.

Phyllis Harvey-Hall was an elementary school teacher with Montgomery Public Schools for 25 years prior to retirement. She's a former prevention educator for the Family Sunshine Center. She does part-time consulting for the National Association of Educational Progress.

District 6: Oronde Mitchell, Jon Dow

Oronde Mitchell is a Montgomery Public Schools resource officer. He ran against his current opponent, John Dow, for City Council in 2015. Mitchell has owned a mobile car wash company, City Hand Car Wash, since 2003.

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Jonathon Dow was a Montgomery councilman from 2011 to 2015. He ran for mayor in 2007. While on the council, he was a district recruiter for Alabama State University for four years.

► Council election: Race/gender makeup will remain disproportionate to Montgomery's population

Election Center not open Election Day

Voting results will not be projected at the Election Center. Results will be projected in real time at Montgomery City Hall. Police officers will pick up the memory sticks at polling locations and bring them to the Election Center where the memory sticks will be read in the tabulation room. The election team, the city clerk and the chief of police will all be at the Election Center. Once the polls close, the Election Center will not be open.

Election Center staff told the Advertiser that Montgomery City Hall has a larger venue with better parking.

What does it mean that the election is being monitored?

In the Aug. 27 election, poll workers removed memory devices from voting machines before information was downloaded causing a delay in results.

Memory devices containing voting information for Districts 5 and 6 were unreadable and a court order had to be granted to receive the ballots for two precincts, so the Election Center could re-run them.

The first results for the municipal election were announced about 90 minutes after the polls closed. The returns in such a small election are typically announced much sooner in Montgomery.

Montgomery City Clerk Brenda Blalock said the error was not intentional or criminal.

The Office of the Secretary of State will be observing the election to ensure no irregularities occur. Five monitoring teams of two staff members will observe the polls during the Oct. 8 runoff. The teams will be there from when polls open at 7 a.m. until they close at 7 p.m.

► Memory card mystery: Did human error or faulty devices cause Montgomery election results delay?

► Mayoral runoff: After election complaints, Secretary of State promises to keep close watch on Montgomery mayoral runoff

Expected turnout

Secretary of State John Merrill does not release predictions for municipal elections. Based on knowledge from previous municipal elections, Merrill expects 60% of the voter turnout from the Aug. 27 election to vote in the runoff. Based on turnout from previous elections, Merrill expects around 26,000 people to vote.

Because there will not be a runoff for all nine City Council Districts, the full 43,746 voters (31.33% of the number of registered voters in the district) who participated in the Aug. 27 election are not expected to vote Oct. 8.

Sara MacNeil can be reached at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter.

This article originally appeared on Montgomery Advertiser: Montgomery, Alabama mayor runoff: What you need to know

Montgomery real estate agent fired after posting ad that offers to sell homes for those who didn't like Steven Reed's election .
The dog-whistle advertisement with Craig Schaid posing in it was posted after Steven Reed was elected Tuesday night to lead the city of Montgomery, which has a majority black population but never has had an African American in its highest office.Cynthia Novak, eXP vice president of marketing and communications, told the Advertiser in an e-mail that the company was not aware of the advertisement before it was posted and fired Schaid after learning of it."We reviewed the situation and terminated the agent. He is no longer an agent with eXp," Novak wrote.

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