OUR VIEW: Change is name of the game in Hogansville politics

Published 11:30 am Thursday, November 4, 2021

Change has been the name of the game in Hogansville the last few years.

During Tuesday night’s election, Mayor Bill Stankiewicz and Councilman Marichal Price were the latest two members of the city’s leadership to be voted out of office. The other city council post up for election Tuesday night also has a new representative as well, as incumbent Reginald Jackson did not run for re-election.

When you add Tuesday’s results to what happened in 2019, when three incumbent council members lost their seats, then you see a complete transformation. No one, and we mean no one, in elected city leadership from the end of 2019 will be there as of 2022.

That’s an incredible change in a very short amount of time. Even the city manager position, now held by Jonathan Lynn, has changed in the last few years.

Stankiewicz was right when he said Tuesday night that the voters have spoken.

They have, and they’ve spoken very loud and very clear.

Hogansville elected a 25-year-old in Michael Taylor, who has to be one of the youngest council members the city has ever had. Matthew Morgan, also a young guy, was elected to the city council as well.

Jake Ayers is the new mayor, and he’ll join his brother, Mark, who is on the city council. To be honest, no we are not sure that it’s a great situation to have relatives as mayor and council, which also would’ve been the case if the Prices (Angela as mayor, Marichal on the council) had been elected. It also doesn’t mean that it’s a bad thing. But that’s a discussion for another day.

In 2019, the Hogansville City Council was Jackson, Price, Fred Higgins (who didn’t run for re-election in 2019), Theresa Strickland and George Bailey. At that time, Stankiewicz was mayor and David Milliron was the city manager.

In 2021, none of those folks will be in leadership in Hogansville.

Just for comparison’s sake, consider that all of the Troup County commissioners have served at least two terms. A new commissioner will be elected following a run-off between Norma Tucker and Jimmy McCamey, but that’s following Richard English’s four decade long run on the commission.

LaGrange has had the same mayor going on eight-plus years now in Jim Thornton, and he ran unopposed Tuesday. The LaGrange City Council had no change in Tuesday’s election. West Point has only had a couple of new council members elected over the last few years, including Joel Finlay who was elected Tuesday.

Hogansville has had more change than all of the other entities combined.

Hogansville appears to be on the cusp of growth, and when you couple that with moving into a new city hall and the Royal Theatre project, it feels like there’s a lot of positive on the horizon. That made Tuesday’s results somewhat surprising.

Change can be great, and sometimes it is needed. Maybe it was needed in Hogansville.

We’ll be monitoring what comes out of all of this change. The city now has five council members — none with more than two years of experience — and a brand new mayor. Those new perspectives could be a great thing. Time will tell.