Lula’s District 3 City Council race is between one of the oldest council members in the state and a newcomer who wants fresh blood on the council.
Gene Bramlett wants fresh ideas on Lula’s City Council. Bramlett moved to Lula only four years ago, but he’s been considering a run for council for at least a year, he said.
Too many current council members are complacent, Bramlett said, and there is a need for new energy. He wants to be a voice for residents and said some council members should spend more time interacting with community members.
“A councilman should get out in the community, visit the community, listen to the people and then be their voice,” Bramlett said. “I’m not going to promise anything I cannot deliver. I’m going to get into office and see what is going on, what we can change.”
Political experience: none
Occupation: retired, previously worked in commercial real estate construction
Top issues: restoring historic buildings, term limits for council members
He wants to restore historic buildings in Lula and spruce up downtown, so that people passing through are pleased with what they see, he said.
He also mentioned more ambitious changes for the city such as trying to build its own police department and setting two-term limits for city council members. New city staff positions should also receive a more intense vetting process, he said, and people who live in Lula should get preference to fill open positions.
“I want to start local, because they know what the city means to them,” Bramlett said.
And like other candidates in Lula’s election, he wants to see growth coming to the city managed the right way.
Political experience: Lula city council member for 20 years
Occupation: retired, WWII veteran, caretaker of emotionally disturbed teens
Top issues: infrastructure improvements, transportation
“I know we’ll have growth and growth is coming in, but it needs to be localized growth,” he said. “We do need growth, and we want the growth.”
Mordecai Wilson, 96, has served on the council for 20 years and is one of the oldest serving council members in the state. He is a World War II veteran, and for many years with his wife in Boston, he ran a group home for mentally ill teens.
Repairing the Cobb Street railroad bridge has been a long process, Wilson said, but Norfolk Southern Railroad should finally finish repairs in the next several months.
“I’m hoping that down the road we can find another way,” Wilson said of providing a connection across the downtown railroad tracks. “Because right now if we need an ambulance or big emergency equipment, we would be isolated.”
He stressed the need to find common ground during this time, saying his fellow council members did a good job of not becoming disagreeable with each other.
“We take lessons from different places to learn about whatever people are doing in other cities, what we are lacking, (and) what we need to grow for the better and bring in more quality things,” Wilson said.
Some people in the city are “stagnant,” Wilson said, and he wants to keep the city growing the right way and not be too resistant to change.
At 96, Wilson said he still wants to try to make the city a better place for its residents.
“I want to keep on making a contribution, because I never forgot where I come from and the wonderful people that helped advance me,” he said. “I see things that are lacking here. … I want to keep passing (lessons) on.”