Two vie for Loganville mayor; five in race for City Council seats

LOGANVILLE - The city of Loganville is less than a month away from its municipal elections, with a ballot that includes two mayoral candidates and five candidates for City Council.

And this year's mayoral race, according to the challenger, is youth versus wisdom.

Mayor Tim Barron, 49, is challenged this year by former Mayor Mike Jones, 64, who says his political experience is what the city needs to move forward.

Jones said the city's traffic problems and a lack of commercial business could pose a real threat to the city's growth.

"We've got terrible traffic problems," Jones said. "If we don't do something about it, it's going to strangle our growth.

"I'm afraid if we're not careful we're going to become a victim of our own success, because we're not managing things properly."

Jones also said he feels Barron's work schedule and distance from the city make it difficult for the mayor to handle his duties.

"He's got a young family, he works on the other side of Atlanta, and you just can't run a town this size with two or three hours a week."

But Barron already has many of his challenger's concerns on his list.

Barron said he hopes to continue to work with the Department of Transportation to improve traffic flow, in addition to the forthcoming four-lane widening of Ga. Highway 20.

Barron also wants to focus on bringing more commercial business into the city, along with continuing to work toward increasing the capacity of city's water and sewer infrastructure.

But the water and sewer work is something that can't be done overnight, the mayor said.

"It's not a two-year process," Barron said.

Barron said he also hopes to see the further development of the downtown area, which has already begun.

"I want to continue (to keep) citizens involved in local government," he said. "We've focussed on that the last two years, and we've made a lot of strides in that area."

Continuing to build the public safety system in the city is also a priority, the mayor said.

Five vie for council seats

The five candidates for City Council includes three incumbents - Chuck Bagley, Mark Kiddoo and Ray Nunley.

The three out of five candidates who receive the most votes will be the city's three new council members, as the six-person City Council does not operate on a district basis.

All five candidates addressed the need for water and sewer improvements and for more commercial development, but each expressed their concern with other issues as well.

Kiddoo said he too would like to see the downtown revitalization project to fruition.

Kiddoo said he would also like to see further development along U.S. Highway 78 and Ga. Highway 81 by implementing a long-term growth plan.

Bagley, running for his second term, said he would like to continue open government, including the community in the governmental process.

Bagley, who said he was the council member behind the Citizens Advisory Committee, hopes to bring a voice to the people of Loganville.

"That's really what I'm all about - informed citizens become involved citizens," he said. "But I need the cooperation of the elected officials, staff and the community. That's when things really happen.

"I would like to see more cooperation with more cities and Gwinnett and Walton County as well as the general assembly."

Nunley said he would like to see the police and fire departments continue to improve.

"That's the one thing we'll never be too good at, and we have to continue to strive to do a better job with that," he said.

Nunley also hopes to see all of the incumbents re-elected, as he said that group has done a good job over the last two years.

As for the challengers, both are experienced and prepared to do what they can to see Loganville move forward.

Sara Bacon said she is seeking a seat on the council again because the city needs help in accomplishing what it hasn't in past years.

Traffic woes are issue Bacon would like to see addressed, and in the future she would like so see the city get a long-needed bypass.

"Traffic is a concern for everyone, (and) it's not getting any better," Bacon said. "Our area of the county is the worst because we all like cars. We need to explore and alternative transit system. Do more carpooling and seeking other modes of transportation."

Janice Tribble said her concern with the state of the city is why she decided to return to the Loganville political arena.

She agreed that traffic is an issue, but she too is an advocate of citizen awareness.

"Our older residents have been left out of a lot of the decisions and committees, and I think people that have lived here a long time should have say in things that are happening.

"It seems that a lot of people outside of the city, the non-taxpayers, are making the decisions rather than the taxpayers. The people on these committees formed don't even pay taxes."

The election is set for Nov. 7.