OUR VIEW: Hogansville votes for change

Published 7:07 pm Thursday, November 7, 2019

The elections in West Point and LaGrange on Tuesday night were fairly uneventful, with incumbents sweeping all of the races. Both councils will still look the same at the start of 2020, with Mark Mitchell, Gerald Ledbetter, DeeDee Williams and Sandra Thornton all being elected to serve in their same roles.

However, it was far from a quiet, ho-hum election in Hogansville, where three new council members were elected. 

Going into the night, it was guaranteed one new face would be on the council, since Fred Higgins elected not to run for re-election. Mandy Neese won his open seat.

But we think it’s fair to call it the results for post 4 and post 5 surprising, as both incumbents lost. Mark Ayers defeated incumbent George Bailey and Toni Striblin topped Theresa Strickland. Both were close races and votes won’t be completely official until next week, but unless something changes, there will be a major flux on the Hogansville City Council. 

Over the last few years, there’s been growing frustration in Hogansville, as repeatedly there were perceived attempts to kick the proverbial can down the road on important issues. However, it’s clear the city has made some progress toward moving city hall into the PNC Bank building and restoring the Royal Theatre. There’s also been a downtown master plan developed. It’ll be important for the newly elected council to continue moving forward on those issues, building on the framework the current council put in place. 

Despite some of that progress, it’s clear Hogansville voters wanted significant change, and there’s nowhere where opinions are heard louder than at the ballot box. 

In two years, four of the five council spots have changed, with only Reggie Jackson remaining on the council. That’s a lot of change, especially in a small town like Hogansville.

We wish the newly elected council luck as it prepares to take office and hope to see all three new members at upcoming council meetings so that they have a complete understanding of the issues they will face ahead. We also hope that Bailey and Strickland remain closely involved, as their perspective as outgoing council members will be helpful in the years ahead.