Ayers has two challengers for Hogansville City Council Post 4 seat

Published 9:00 am Friday, September 1, 2023

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Incumbent Mark Ayers is facing challenges from political newcomers Adrain Porter and Drew Mezza in the Hogansville City Council Post 4 race.

Porter said he was excited to qualify for the race.

“When I was a kid, I always heard that I would grow up to be the next president. I never saw myself as that, but I feel like I’m doing a part of that by running for city council. I want to make a difference in my community, and I feel this is the best way to start,” Porter said.

Porter, a Hogansville native, will soon be working for the local post office.

“My platform, ‘You Can Bet On Me’ breaks down into three goals: B, I want to better our community by voicing the concerns of the citizens of Hogansville. E, I want to empower the youth to be involved in every aspect of the community. T, together we can make a change for the future,” Porter said.

When Ayers isn’t in office, he helps oversee the financials for Inteel Corps, a steel contrition company in Fayetteville.

“I believe we’ve accomplished so much in the last four years, and I still have a few things I really want to see through. I’m excited to try and earn that seat again and see if I can see those things through,” Ayers said.

If he is reelected, Ayers said he wants to focus on projects that are underway — renovations at the Royal Theater, updates to the facilities of Lake Jimmy Jackson and an overhaul of the city’s sewer and water systems.

“I want to keep pushing to wrap up some of the other things we’ve accomplished. One of which is some of the different parks and attractions. We’ve been working on the Royal Theatre, which we broke ground on in June. That has been they say a five-year project but it’s more like a 20-year project as far as when the first idea came up to see if we could reopen it. But for the last five years, it’s been a project that I’ve definitely had a major hand in my time as a councilmember and now that the projects going, I want to be a part of seeing that one through,” Ayers said.

Ayers adds that he wants to finish updates to Lake Jimmy Jackson. He said it had a few phases completed, but there’s more that needs to be done before it’s fully completed.

“Being able to work with a council that all seems to be on the same page about moving forward is fantastic. We’re fully staffed and all focused on a common goal. I would like to just keep pushing forward with that to get more basic needs met and get our budget even more balanced,” Ayers said.  “If you go back four years ago, we were about 10 months away from losing our municipality, because the budget was in so much shambles. Now the budget is looking fantastic. I would like to keep pushing forward with smaller things projects and budget line items making sure our departments are adequately staffed.”

Mezza said he was inspired to run for office to advocate for more recreation activities and art programs for the city.

“I moved my family down here about four years ago and invested my life savings and well-being so I could serve the city with the tattoo shop. Because of that, I decided I wanted to get more involved and run for city council as well. Whether I win or don’t win the election, I’ll still be here, pressing for these issues regardless,” Mezza said.

He said his platform is based on to two issues, creating family friendly recreational spaces and growing cultural and arts programs in Hogansville.

“We thankfully have been blessed by Miss Lynn Miller with getting us the funding and capital to get the theater renovated and utilized to the capacity it should be. Hogansville is super well known for its architectural, historic architectural spaces. I don’t understand why we’re stopping at the theater. As wonderful it is as the theater being renovated, we have an amphitheater that’s never utilized or used. We’ve got a splash pad that is only operational half the time when it should be all the time and we’re really lacking on things like a pet parks, picnic parks or hiking trails,” Mezza said.

Porter encourages people to perform their civic duty by voting.

“If you get out and vote, you’ll have a voice. Regardless of who wins the election, voters should do their part in voting to put in office who they think should be in office and help lead our community,” Porter said.

Ayers encourages voters to do their best to stay informed.

“Oftentimes people vote for an incumbent or they vote for someone who’s not the incumbent, and that’s the most they know. I think that’s the shame no matter which way they vote. I encourage voters to do the research, come to the different forums and events we are going to be having in the next few months to get to know all the candidates,” Ayers said. “I encourage everyone to go out, meet those candidates and try to make the best-informed decision they can to vote for who they think is best.”