Two vie for District 2

Published 12:13 am Thursday, February 7, 2008

VIDALIA — Concerns about government transparency and drainage have two candidates in the running for Vidalia’s Alderman District No. 2.

Corrine O. Randazzo

The wife of former Mayor Sam Randazzo, Corrine Randazzo said she decided to run for the alderman’s position because she believes it is time for a change.

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“I think sometimes people are in office a long time and change is good,” she said.

But she doesn’t just want change for change’s sake, Randazzo said.

“We have to have a more visible, transparent government so that people know more about what is going on in government,” she said.

The city should consider broadcasting their meetings on local public access television, and more information about the city budget and things that are going on in the city should be released and explained, Randazzo said.

Randazzo also said she is interested in seeing town growth and keeping utility rates as low as possible.

Keeping taxes low are also a priority for Randazzo.

“There are a lot of single people homes just in my neighborhood,” she said. “I feel I need to be sure Vidalia’s low tax base stays that way so it is a place in which the elderly as well as the young can live.”

The city also needs to continue to develop the riverfront, Randazzo said.

“We just need to be sure we keep in the direction we were going,” she said. “Sometimes we veer a little bit from what the original plan was.”

Vidalia is a progressive city, Randazzo said, and that is what she loves about it.

Vernon Stevens

The incumbent, Vernon Stevens, has served five consecutive terms on the board of aldermen, but has served a total of 24 years representing District No. 2. Stevens served a term as alderman but then sat out a term after losing a mayoral bid to former mayor Sam Randazzo in the late 1980s.

The decision to run for a seventh term was easy, Stevens said, because he is still working on several projects and wants to see them completed.

The big issue facing District 2, and one that Stevens said he has been working on for a while now, is drainage in the slough area at the end of Alabama Street.

When the levee was built, it blocked off natural drainage to the river, and Stevens said the city is at a point where they can make a deal with landowners to do some improvements to the area to solve the problem.

There are some other, minor drainage issues in the district, especially on South Spruce Street where water collects between the sidewalk and the road, Stevens said.

Working with Recreation District No. 3 to bring a new sports complex to the area is also important to Stevens.

“If we could secure something like that — a quality (sports) facility — we could attract some tournaments to the area and get some revenues from the tournaments and the people coming in for the weekend,” Stevens said.

Getting the Port of Vidalia approved is also a priority for Stevens, he said.

“When we had the port meeting a couple of weeks ago, every major business in the parish came forward and said a port facility would help increase their production and even add more jobs for the citizens of the area,” Stevens said.

“I think the city is really making some progress and I would really like to continue to secure those things,” he said.