Two candidates up for District DPublished 12:01am Friday, November 2, 2012
FERRIDAY — The two candidates vying for Ferriday’s District D alderman’s seat say to move forward the town needs to address employment, crime and recreation.
The two candidates are Johnnie Brown and Marcus “Slim” Martin.
The seven-year incumbent who is running as an independent, Johnnie Brown, 63, said he’s running because he has some unfinished business, including the implementation of a year-round recreation program.
The biggest challenge the town faces, Brown said, is revenue and finances.
“We hope to bring in some new businesses,” he said. “If we can bring in some jobs, I would definitely like to see that.”
The aldermen can encourage new businesses by seeking out prospects and passing ordinances that encourage the settlement of businesses in the area, Brown said.
The incumbent alderman said the town needs to find more effective ways to prevent crime.
“I am hoping by the spring we can have a town cleanup program where we can address abandoned vehicles, dilapidated housing and vacant lots that are left unkempt,”
Brown said. “At the same time, I am hoping to have a good upcoming Neighborhood Watch program where we can get neighbors watching out for each other and knowing what to look out for when it comes to crime.”
Brown said he would also like for the town to come up with an effective way to address the problem of stray dogs.
One thing he thinks is a positive development is the opening of the Will Haney Music Hall.
“I think that could be a well-rounded asset for the town,” Brown said. “I think more than anything right now we need someone to act as a manager that can bring in events and activities.”
The town’s youth football league is also an asset, he said.
Brown is retired from the Mississippi Department of Employment Security, where he served as the veteran’s outreach coordinator. He has a degree in political science from Southern University.
Marcus “Slim” Martin
A nearly life-long resident of Ferriday, Marcus “Slim” Martin, 32, said he decided to run for alderman because he wants to be involved with the children of Ferriday and implement further a recreation program for them.
He also wants to be a part of economic development efforts in the town.
“I am a young guy, and I feel like the ideas I have can really give Ferriday a lift as far as getting ahead is concerned,” he said.
Part of the recreation program Martin would like to implement, he said, would be to reopen the Ferriday pool.
The role he would play in economic development would be to work with other aldermen to make Ferriday more attractive to businesses, Martin said.
“Ferriday has an attractive background from the 1970s and 80s, and I want to bring that back to Ferriday,” he said.
Some of the biggest issues facing the town include the longstanding problems with its water system, crime and its schools, Martin said.
“We can only go up,” he said. “Ferriday has been down too long; we can only go forward.”
The duties of aldermen are to listen to the residents, take their ideas and his own ideas before the board and make the best decision he can, Martin said.
“I have the will, the desire and the fight to get things done,” he said. “I can’t promise that things will get done, but I will do my best effort to get them done.”
A graduate of Ferriday High School, Martin attended Kirkwood Community College before transferring to the University of North Carolina-Pembroke for a year. He works at Vidalia apparel, and has experience as a substitute teacher and teachers’ aide.