Three in the running for one seat on Bainbridge City Council

Published 9:32 pm Friday, October 16, 2015

A new face will be in the seat of longtime Bainbridge City Councilman Luther Conyers not long after the Nov. 3 municipal election.

Conyers, who has been on the city council for more than 30 years, has decided to not run to let “someone else take the reins” after his decades of serving the community on city council.

Conyers represents District A, which is a multi-member district that is mainly in the northern portion of Bainbridge. Councilman Joe Sweet is the other member of District A, which is also called Ward A.

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The three people running for his seat are Kregg Close, Frank Flowers and Olive Wedderburn.

Close, 36, is a mortician; Flowers, 52, is an optometrist; and Wedderburn, 53, is an executive director of a non-profit organization.

Kregg Close

Close said that he’s running because of a longtime interest in local government. He grew up not only in Decatur County, but in the specific district he’s running to represent.

“I think it takes someone who has known the community and has been in the community and been involved to be able to be a successor behind someone who has done such a great job,” Close said.

If elected, Close said wants to promote city-county cooperation to bring more jobs into the area, because jobs help everyone at every level. He also said he would like to work on development in District A to improve the community.

Frank Flowers

Flowers has worked with the city zoning board for about 13 years.

“I’ve demonstrated my ability to participate at the city-government level through the zoning board,” Flowers said. “I try to make an effort to be aware of the situation, do my homework, be knowledgeable about the issues that are at hand, and I’m committed to show up and participate on a regular basis.”

Flowers said that one of the main things he would want to address if elected is the budget to prevent the city from dipping into contingency money again by working to control spending.

He also said that he wants to make Bainbridge more attractive to younger people.

“They don’t have a lot of activity or a big reason for them to stay in town. I’d like to make jobs here in Bainbridge, so they’ll continue to want to live here,” Flowers said.

Olive Wedderburn

Wedderburn said that she’s running for the community, all of it, not for herself. She said that she sees communities being left out and not served as diligently as others, which prompted her to run.

Wedderburn said that while she hasn’t been in Bainbridge her entire life, she has been active in the community the entire time she’s been here.

“My two challengers talk about that they’re home-bred. They’ve been here, done that, but what have they done for Bainbridge?,” Wedderburn said. “Since I’ve been here in Bainbridge, I have volunteered, worked for and helped the community. I’ve helped homeowners who have been losing their home to foreclosure. I’ve brought monies into the community, and I’m an active person in the community.”

Wedderburn has a long list of items she’d like to address if elected including: veterans’ issues, government transparency, high taxes and youth engagement.

City Council members Roslyn Palmer and Don Whaley both qualified without opposition. They represent District B, the other multi-member district that covers the southern portion of Bainbridge. Phil Long, who was not up for election this year, is the third member of District B.

Advance voting for the election continues through Friday, Oct. 30. The times for advance voting are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. up until Friday, Oct. 23. The hours for advance voting from Monday, Oct. 26, through Friday, Oct. 30, are from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The advance voting locations are the Fairgrounds located at 1211 Vada Road and the newly opening Courthouse Annex, which is the Board of Elections Office located at 122 W. Water St.

The Fairgrounds advance voting location will continue to be the site with more voting machines and personnel to assist voters.

On Election Day, Nov. 3, only four precincts have voters eligible to vote in the city election – the Coliseum, Fairgrounds, West Bainbridge and Mount Pleasant precincts. Please remember to bring your photo ID with you when voting.

To see if you are registered to vote and if you are a resident within the City of Bainbridge’s District A, please go to the Georgia Secretary of State’s website, My Voter Page.

At that website, you may also request an absentee mail-in ballot, change your address, find your polling location and print or email your precinct card.