Two battle for District 1 post

Published 12:01 am Friday, February 8, 2008

VIDALIA — Bringing economic development and keeping “the heart of the city” healthy has two candidates in the running for the District 1 alderman’s seat.

Audrey Johnson Gray

A desire to see the district grow was what made Audrey Gray decide to run for office, she said.

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“I have been living in the district for 47 years and I have not seen any growth,” Gray said.

The district needs housing for the elderly, and Gray said she would seek some kind of flat utility rate for the elderly.

If some low-income housing could be brought to the area it might improve youth discipline problems, Gray said.

“If we had some low-income apartments those young ladies with babies could move out of their parents’ house and raise them so those kids wouldn’t have a conflict of authority,” she said.

Gray said she would also work to bring more recreation to the district.

“The children have nothing to do but pedal from uptown to downtown,” she said. “Maybe we wouldn’t have so many of those (uptown and downtown-related) fights if they had something to do.”

Improving streets and drainage are also on the agenda for Gray.

“With the streets we have now you have to wait for one car to pass until you can pass,” she said.

If elected, Gray said she would not just hold the seat so she could have a title.

“If I cannot be of benefit to the community, I will not hold the seat just to hold the community back,” she said. “If you’re holding the seat and being unproductive, you’re holding the community back.”

Triand “Tron” McCoy

The one term incumbent for District 1, Tron McCoy said a desire to see projects he is working on completed helped him decide to run again.

The big issue for District 1 is economic development, McCoy said.

“We can talk about smaller issues, but it all goes back to the fact that the people of my district need employment or better employment,” he said.

Many of the other issues brought up during an election are just part of an alderman’s job, McCoy said.

“As an alderman, I deal with issues such as streets and sanitation, the cleanliness of my district and the city as a whole, and with the utilities and fire and police departments,” he said. “That’s an ongoing process you don’t ever get to a place where you say ‘job done.’”

Even though he is already an alderman, McCoy said, he thinks of the job as if he is always campaigning.

“I treat this position like I am still running,” he said. “I have stayed in contact with the people in my district, always making it a point to do things to show I am alderman in District 1.”

Keeping District 1 moving forward is important for the entire city, McCoy said.

“I like to refer to District 1 as the heart of the city,” he said. “That’s where the police, fire, street, sanitation and utility departments are. Basically, District 1 is where the city is kept going.”