Last week, YAC Director Wayne Andrews announced his candidacy for Alderman of Ward 6. Andrews considered running in the previous election cycle but remained focused on YAC. After seeing some of the frustrations in state politics, he decided to run.
“My main reason for getting involved is not because there are things that are wrong, but because there are people who are frustrated with what’s going on at the state level, and I think we can be active and help our city take a more constructive role,” Andrews said. “I hope that I can bring people together in a positive manner and not just be upset.”
Andrews’ campaign will focus on the issues he feels are facing Oxford. Those issues include keeping young professionals in Oxford, bringing families and small businesses to town and rebuilding and developing an infrastructure to support the growth in town. Andrews believes the problems are connected but can be fixed as long as it’s done with residents in mind.
“Inspiring and incentivizing how the town is used is one of the best opportunities we have; that will create investment in people and the town. We want to create opportunities for people who work here and live here,” Andrews said. “We need orderlies at the new hospital, workers in the restaurants, small business owners to be able to live here. We all love the parks, arts, festivals and the downtown area; those are only there if there’s a base to support it and use it.”
Andrews came to Oxford by way of Germantown, Tennessee, in 2008, but has been coming to Oxford for 20 years. Andrews wants to preserve the things that attracted him and many others to the town.
“We came here for the same reasons everyone else is coming. I want to see what made this an attractive community to me, preserved,” Andrews said.
Andrews will be running against republican incumbent Jason Bailey. Bailey has served Ward 6 as their Alderman for the past five years. With an emphasized focus on infrastructure, Bailey hopes for the opportunity to see his projects through by being re-elected.
“As a board, we’ve implanted Vision 2037, one of the things I originally campaigned on. We also need to continue to work hard to improve our infrastructure, especially focusing on our roads,” Bailey said. “We’ve got a lot of things in the works that I would like to see come to fruition. So, I do think it’s important to have a cohesiveness on the board of Alderman.”
During his five years serving as an Alderman, Bailey has been thankful to have the chance of meeting the people he believes keep Oxford running on a daily basis.
“I’ve loved learning what a wonderful group of people we have working for the city,” Bailey said. “Those people work so hard and are so amazing. When you call with a problem or concern, they go above and beyond to take care of you. Whether its electric, firemen, police officers, they all love their job. A lot of people may not realize what it takes to keep our sewer systems running and those things that we take for granted. It’s been an eye opener to be in this position and see the ins-and-outs if it all.”
After growing up in here, attending Ole Miss and owning his business here, Oxford is the only place that Bailey has wanted to reside. In fact, Bailey has used his public service as a way to give back to the community that has given him so much.
“It’s something that I can do to give back to the community I grew up in, and the city that I love so much. I’ve wanted to stay here since I was a little kid, and I love that I’ve been able to give back,” Bailey said.
The election for Alderman will take place on June 6.
Steven Gagliano is a writer for HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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