City council candidate emphasizes civic engagement, youth involvement in local government
In an election year filled with mudslinging and some of the most vitriolic attack ads in recent memory, don’t expect to see such ill tempers arise when it comes to the Adairsville City Council runoff.
The Dec. 1 special election to fill the post 4 vacancy created by Councilman Buddy Bagley’s resignation earlier this year sees locals Brandey Jenkins and Ahmad Hall going one-on-one — this, following a six-person general election race that saw no candidates on the ballot attain more than 50% of the total vote.
Neither are strangers to the City of Adairsville. Jenkins has served on the Adairsville Unified Zoning Board while Hall has been a member of both the City’s events planning board and the Adairsville Downtown Development Authority.
The Daily Tribune News reached out to both candidates, but Jenkins did not respond to multiple requests for an interview via phone and email by press time.
Council hopeful Hall said he looks to create more youth involvement when it comes to local governance.
“I would love to create a relationship between the high school and the City as far as a youth council that would work together as an advisory board with the City of Adairsville,” he said. “Also, that would help them understand City government and City politics in a better way.”
While the runoffs for Georgia’s two U.S. Senate seats might be inspiring some mean-spirited political prattle, Hall certainly has nothing bad to say about his city council rival.
“The thing I love most about Brandey is that I believe she has the same heart and passion that I do for Adairsville,” he said. “She loves Adairsville just as much as I do.”
Name: Ahmad Hall
Current city: Adairsville
Occupation: Worship pastor, North Rome Church of God
The Daily Tribune News (DTN): Ultimately, what convinced you to run for the open Adairsville City Council seat?
Ahmad Hall (AH): What convinced me to run was my love and my passion for the City of Adairsville and the people who live there. I’ve been there all my life and one of the main things is community involvement. To me, my passion is to get more people as participants involved in City politics.
DTN: On the local government level, what would you say is the biggest issue going on in Adairsville right now?
AH: I think the biggest issue in Adairsville is misunderstanding and miseducation. Again, I believe it is important that we educate all of our citizens on how City government works and how their voices can be heard. They have a part in that, they can actually help make decisions for the City if they’re involved. And we need to make sure that we allow the information to be made known — not just posting it on social media or the internet, but actually getting out there and compelling the people to come and be a part of City government.
DTN: If you are elected, are there any particular ordinances or code changes you’d like to pursue?
AH: Not at this time.
DTN: If you are elected, what would be the biggest change to the City of Adairsville’s style of government or administration you’d like to see enacted?
AH: I think diversity in thought. And I’m not saying that the city council has done a terrible job or a bad job running the city, but I think it just helps sometimes to have somebody who has a different way of looking at things, a different perspective. I think I bring a more young and more fresh view. I have a love for the city, I love the history and I love the historic factor of Adairsville, which I will always hold dear and I will always keep in the forefront. But at the same time, I understand that the city has to move forward and be current and be relevant in this day and age — we have so many new families and people moving in, and we want to make sure that Adairsville is attractive for everybody. And at the same time, we keep our small town values and our small town appeal.
DTN: And ultimately, why would you say that you are the best candidate for the council seat?
AH: I would say I’m the best candidate because I’ve been with the City of Adairsville as far as working on advisory boards and helping to make decisions. There’s been a lot of great strides that we’ve made. Of course, this year, 2020, has kind of shut a lot of that down, but we even have a downtown master plan that we have begun work on and looking to pursue and finish that will help revitalize the downtown area, which so many people love about Adairsville.