Runoff pits McGlothin versus Allen

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 16, 2004

FERRIDAY &045; With only 173 voters separating the two candidates in the March election, Gene Allen and incumbent Glen McGlothin will face off in a runoff Saturday for mayor of Ferriday.

McGlothin took the upper hand last time with 42.8 percent of the vote compared to Allen’s 31.3 percent, resulting in the runoff, but this time there are not six candidates to split the votes, only two.

Both candidates are looking at ways to move Ferriday forward, finding it important to bring jobs to the area. However, their approaches to finding solutions to jobs in Ferriday and addressing what Ferriday needs are where they differ.

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Moving Ferriday


Allen said he will be aggressive in seeking grants to get infrastructure in place to help Ferriday grow. And, Allen said, Ferriday needs to be cleaned up to change the image of the town.

McGlothin said he will continue to travel to bring things to Ferriday and the parish as a whole that will benefit the town.

McGlothin said towns all across the United States are losing jobs, and he is looking at ways to bring some to the area.

&uot;If you don’t think regional, you won’t get anything done,&uot; McGlothin said.

For example, Ferriday is a renewal community, which both candidates say they want to capitalize on. While Vidalia is not, its industrial park is. McGlothin said that means any industry that locates in the park must hire at least 35 percent of its workers from a renewal community and, to him, that means jobs for Ferriday.

What are Ferriday’s strengths?

McGlothin said the one Ferriday’s strengths is the town has a willing workforce. Also, the town has a low crime rate compared to other towns its size.

And downtown development is one strength McGlothin really hopes to capitalize on.

McGlothin said he wants people in Ferriday to take pride in their town and by developing the downtown, that will show the pride of the town to potential industries wanting to move in to Ferriday.

&uot;I’m hoping our strengths will induce someone to come here and at least give us a chance,&uot; McGlothin said.

Allen said the strength of Ferriday is the renewal community designation and he wants to take full advantage of the tax break Ferriday can offer to potential industries.

What are Ferriday’s weaknesses?

Allen said, however, the weakness in Ferriday is the lack of cooperation.

&uot;Ferriday has too many different factions,&uot; Allen said.

&uot;There is no need for that. We all live in the same little town together.&uot;

Allen proposes getting people in the community together to meet and discuss Ferriday and its needs to bring people together.

McGlothin said the main weakness of Ferriday is that it is landlocked &045; there is no rail system, no waterway for transportation and no interstate system.

This is a hindrance to companies, McGlothin said, because it is more costly to ship their goods to and from a town they have to travel miles off of a river or interstate to get to.

McGlothin’s solution is to continue to market Ferriday for what it has and continue to push the four-laning of U.S. 84.


Allen said the main weakness in Ferriday is division.

&uot;I intend to get groups together of all groups of life, all races,&uot; Allen said as a way to unify Ferriday.

One main sector he wants to target, he said, is the business community. Allen said they have not have the opportunities to participate in the political process and he wants to give them the opportunity.

McGlothin said there are many people in Ferriday who divide themselves.

&uot;I’ve tried all of my life to unify the people of Ferriday, even before I was in politics,&uot; he said.

His solution to trying to get people in Ferriday together to get a cross section of the community to be involved in everything.

Future hopes

McGlothin said his number one, future plan for Ferriday is to fix the water situation and give the people lower water rates.

&uot;I know it’s going to happen because we’ve finally gotten to the apex,&uot; he said with getting USDA and Congressional support to pay off the debts on the water plant and look for an alternative water source.

McGlothin also wants to take the downtown development and let it’s success spread all over town.

&uot;We have to start somewhere and downtown Š that’s how (other towns) started&uot; building the towns back up and renewing pride n the community.

Allen said he wants Ferriday to be a progressive, rural city. In fact, eh wants Ferriday to be the most progressive town in the delta corridor from Vidalia to Lake Providence.

Allen said, to do that, he plans to bring in industry, a convention center, recreation and a golf course and market the two lakes that border the town. &uot;I want to put things in Ferriday in order for Ferriday to grow,&uot; he said.

Why should each candidate be the next mayor?

Allen said Ferriday needs leadership and someone productive and cooperative with all of the people of the town &045; that is why he should be mayor.

McGlothin said he should only be mayor of Ferriday if the people want him to be mayor.

&uot;I do love the town I live in,&uot; McGlothin said. &uot;I’d hate to see this town go down to nothing.&uot;