Freeman announces candidacy for mayor

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

With a promise to post details of his campaign platform on the Internet, the Lewisburg man who was so outspoken at City Council meetings last spring is announcing his candidacy for mayor.

Jerry Wayne Freeman, 53, of Finley Beech Road was so persistent with his allegations of mismanagement on various municipal fronts during the citizens' comment period that the long-standing soapbox was suspended until new rules were imposed.

Now, someone can't complain about something more than three times and if it's about a panel that the Council can't control such as utility boards or the housing authority, then Council meetings aren't the place for them and the citizen would be directed to the appropriate forum.

So now, Freeman's taking his allegations to the people to use the election campaign as his forum.

It would appear that Freeman has aimed most of his comments at Mayor Bob Phillips. However, Phillips isn't running for re-election. Freeman's opponent in the election is retired educator Barbara Woods, chairwoman of the Curbside Recycling Committee, a panel of unpaid citizens who were asked to serve shortly after she suggested the Council explore the prospect of collecting recyclable materials such as paper, plastic and metal.

Thursday next week is the deadline for candidates to file their petitions with the election commission so they could be named on the printed ballot in the May 5 election. The last day to register to vote is April 6, a Monday. Early voting starts April 15.

The race between Woods and Freeman is one of a couple of city elections with competition. Councilman Phil Sanders has decided against running for re-election. He was elected 12 years ago when Phillips became mayor.

The pending vacancy has attracted two candidates for the Ward 4 seat held by Sanders. The rivals are: the Rev. Leland T. Carden of Midway Street who's a retired United Methodist minister, and Ronald McRady of Second Avenue, a retired state employee whose career was mostly with the Department of Corrections.

Councilmen Odie Whitehead Jr. and Hershel Davis have declared their candidacies to run for re-election. Whitehead was appointed to fill a vacancy in Ward 3. Davis was re-elected as the Ward 2 councilman nearly four years ago.

The Marshall County Election Commission offices are in the Hardison Office Annex at 230 College St. Its phone number is (931) 359-4894.