Three candidates vying to be Kingston mayor
by Jason Lowrey
Oct 20, 2013 | 2723 views | 0 0 comments | 42 42 recommendations | email to a friend | print
This year three candidates are in the running to be Kingston’s mayor. Incumbent Ron Casey is facing off against challengers Wanda Penson and Jeannette Perkins-Graves. Kingston residents will decide who will lead the city on Nov. 5.

Name: Ronald Coleman Casey

Occupation: Retired teacher and coach with the Bartow County School System

Family: Phyllis Casey, wife; Tara Casey Padgett and Nicole Casey Shelton, daughters; Garrett Shelton, Anna Padgett and Tyler Shelton, grandchildren

Education: Graduate — Cass High School, Gordon Military College, Shorter College with a BS degree in Political Science, and continued education at West Georgia College

Age: 66

Email: ronald.casey@att.net

Why did you decide to run for this particular race?

A: I have been mayor for two terms. The first term the city had been robbed and had to borrow money to keep from filing for bankruptcy. The person responsible had not been prosecuted for the crime and a lawsuit was pending. I was able to get the person responsible prosecuted, settled with the insurance company who began to pay off the loan the city had borrowed and the lawsuit was settled. By the end of my first term the city had money in its account. During the term the city well was completed and put on line. I decided not to seek a second consecutive term.

I ran after the previous mayor had completed his first term because the city was once again in financial need, plus more lawsuits against the city were pending. The lawsuits were settled, the debts paid off and all of the city funds have revenue in each account. Problems with the new well has been corrected and approved by all state agencies. During this term I have doubled the size of the playground equipment, built a pavilion for the citizens and fenced in the park play area from the railroad tracks for safety.

If elected, what do you want to accomplish?

A: I would like to complete a SPLOST project to benefit the city, keep on track for sewage in the near future, clean up more of the city blight areas, and complete a combination depot and civic center so the citizens can come sit to talk while viewing the trains.

What is the most pressing issue facing Kingston?

A: Lack of sewage for the growth and health of the city.

Once in office, what will be your top priority?

A: Try to get grants to complete the depot complex and repave the walking track in the park.

Why are you the best candidate for the position?

A: This is my home. I have lived in Kingston all my life and most of what I have is in this town. I care about Kingston’s past and [its] future. My grandsons live here and I hope they will have a happy life as I had growing up in Kingston.

Name: Wanda Penson

Occupation: I was a bookkeeper [accountant] and title clerk for 21 years. I also worked with the Department of Revenue in the vehicle inspection division.

Family: Married to Gregory Dale Penson for 38 years; two children, son, Joshua M. Penson and daughter, Harlee Baily; and eight grandchildren

Education: Graduated from Model High School in 1976

Age: 55

Email: wandapenson@yahoo.com

Why did you decide to run for this particular race?

A: After a lot of prayers and great debate with my husband, I have decided to run for mayor of our great town. I have lived here for nearly 40 years and I would like an opportunity to serve the good people of this community; to let them know that I will always listen to what they have to say and act on what is best for us all, that we may have healthy, prosperous lives.

If elected, what do you want to accomplish?

A: When [asked], what do I wish to accomplish? I would say that I would like to look for better revenue sources that would help to strengthen our infrastructure, without burdening the working class of people — who, by the way, is all our good citizens.

What is the most pressing issue facing Kingston?

A: The most pressing I believe to be facing Kingston at this time is to have clean and sanitary living conditions, to have better drinking water and good sewage standards, to support education and training for all people; especially our young people, who are our future.

Once in office, what will be your top priority? 

A: Once in office [these] will be my top priorities: public health and safety.

Why are you the best candidate for the position?

A: If I have to say why do I think I am the best candidate for mayor, I would have to say that I would feel a responsibility to treat everyone fairly and to show fairness for all.

Name: Jeanette Perkins-Graves

Occupation: Owner — Café 293 West, 11 W. Howard St., Kingston; owner — Magnolia Manor Guest House, 54 E. Main St., Kingston; former owner — Morrell’s Corner Café , Kingston; former owner — Two Sisters Flowers & Gifts (25 years), Morrow; former owner — Jennie’s Tea Room, Jonesboro

Family: Two grown children, one son, one daughter; eight grandchildren; father, Morrell Perkins Sr. (deceased); mother, Marjorie Perkins Walker (deceased)

Education: Graduate of Cass Consolidated High School (1961), Grady School of Nursing (1961-1963), University of Georgia (1963-1964)

Age: 64

Email: MzzWings@aol.com

Why did you decide to run for this particular race?

A: Kingston is such a quaint town with the feeling of being set back in time. I have businesses and a home here. My dad, Morrell Perkins, was instrumental in restoring a good portion of the downtown area and had a wonderful restaurant (Morrell’s Corner Café) and several other businesses. He had a great love for Kingston and I share that love and concern for her well-being. There is a lot of history here and great people. I would like to see Kingston thrive again and to continue to preserve our place in history. For these reasons, I decided that I would run for mayor.

If elected, what do you want to accomplish?

A: Hopes and dreams for a prosperous Kingston with activities in the park, renewed interest in recreation, new businesses and a financially stable city top my list, not necessarily in that order.

What is the most pressing issue facing Kingston?

A: Our financial situation is at a critical level and every effort should be made to continue to resolve the issues on the table now. Everyone is feeling the economic crunch and a small town like Kingston feels the impact quite heavily just because of the current cash flow crisis we are in now.

Once in office, what will be your top priority?

A: Once in office, I would like to have a work session specifically to address the financial portion of the city’s picture and work out a short-term plan to begin stabilizing the existing problems and work toward a long-term plan to maintain a healthy budget. We need to manage our resources to provide the best level of services such as water, public works, our police department and city staff.

Why are you the best candidate for the position?

A: You asked me why am I the best candidate for this position. My first reaction is I only know I will do my best if elected. I care about Kingston and I care about the people who live here. I will strive to work toward a better Kingston. It is up to the people of this city to decide if I am the best choice.

It will take everyone involved in the operation of Kingston to begin to pull together in the same direction with the same goals. No one person alone can accomplish what is needed in Kingston. Hard work, perseverance, teamwork and a desire to reach the goals that are set will put Kingston back on track.