Melissa Strother reaches for her 2-year-old son Jack, from her husband Jay, at her official campaign announcement Tuesday morning. Strother and Ivey Hines have publicly announced their intentions to run for the vacant Ward II seat.
ALBANY ALBANY -- Promising transparency and a renewed focus on commerce and cooperation, political newcomer Melissa Strother officially announced her intentions to run for the city's Ward II commission seat.
As first reported Monday at albanyherald.com, Strother is an entrepreneur and a mother who is launching her first political campaign.
A portion of Melissa Strother's campaign speech
Melissa Strothers explains why she thinks she'd make a good city commissioner for Ward II.
Hubbard had to vacate the seat when she qualified to run for mayor, as required by the Georgia Constitution.
Strother and Ivey Hines, a pastor and employee at Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, have publicly announced their intentions to seek the office formerly held by Commissioner Dorothy Hubbard. Hubbard had to vacate the seat when she qualified to run for mayor.
At her kickoff Tuesday morning, Strother pledged to work cooperatively with the Albany Police department to fill vacancies and give them the support they need to fulfill their role in the community, while also promising to increase transparency of the commission by, among other things, restart the process of televising the meetings.
In a bold statement, Strother pointed to the fact that the city commission voted to double their salaries, saying that the money would've been better spent increasing the salaries of police officers.
"The Albany Police Department has one of the highest turnaround rates in the area. Our taxpayer dollars are being spent training officers for a job that doesn't pay enough to retain them," Strother said. "Our city commissioners and our mayor voted to double their salaries while they should've been voting to raise the salaries of the men and women who protect our city."
Strother also pledged to support the revitalization of downtown, saying that even though the downtown area isn't in her ward, that it was vital to the city.
Saying that Georgia was the fifth largest recipient of federal transportation improvement dollars, Strother said that the city commission should take better advantage of the federal government funds and spend more of those dollars on projects like a pedestrian bridge across the Flint and to improve sidewalks.
Qualifying for the seat begins tomorrow at 9 a.m. and will end Friday at noon. Strother said she plans to qualify to be on the ballot tomorrow at 10 a.m.