Some were able to breathe easier than others when the filing deadline to be a candidate in the Aug. 25 municipal elections passed Tuesday.
Enterprise City Council member in District 5, Turner Townsend, was unopposed.
A bigger surprise occurred in District 4, where incumbent Al Miller – who has served on the council for 28 years – chose not to run. Instead, Scotty Johnson ran unopposed in District 4.
Townsend and Johnson were declared the winners in a resolution passed by the council Tuesday night.
Three council district seats and the mayoral race will be contested in next month’s election.
In District 1, incumbent Sonya Rich is running against Reiders White, Jr., and Jerrold Whitehurst.
In District 2, incumbent Eugene Goolsby is being challenged by LaQuilla Stoudmire.
In District 3, Danny Bradley, James Brown, Les Hogan and Greg Padgett are running for the spot vacated by Perry Vickers, who is one of four candidates for mayor.
The mayor’s race is between incumbent Bill Cooper, Lister Reeves, Jr., Bill Baker and Vickers.
Wallace “Al” Miller, Jr., was 32 years old when he was elected to represent District 4 on the city council.
“It was challenging, but it was very rewarding, very fulfilling,” Miller said after Tuesday night’s council meeting. “It’s been an honor and a privilege to serve the voters in District 4 and the citizens of Enterprise.”
Miller, now 60, who is the owner of Miller Alarm Electronics, laughed when he said he had black hair when he was first elected. He is the current council’s longest serving member.
“I just feel like, after serving 28 years, I’ve seen a lot of progress in the City of Enterprise – seen a lot of projects completed, seen a lot of tragedy with the tornado and the floods,” he said.
“It’s been a real honor to be able to solve problems and use my business experience – because this is big business. This is a multi-million dollar business. It’s just you operate this business the same way I operate my personal business. We have to spend the taxpayer’s money like it was ours. We have to justify what we do.”
Miller said it wasn’t an easy decision to step away.
“It was something I’ve been struggling with the last few years,” he said. “I just turned 60 and I’ve been down here just about half my life. I feel like it’s time.”
Council member Rich told Miller she was sad, but thanked him for his service and his advice.
Miller, who will continue to serve through the swearing in of the next council, said that group will have tough financial decisions to make that will shape the city for years to come.
“You have to know it’s not about you, it’s about the people of Enterprise,” Miller said. “You make your decisions based on that – and you have to be able to justify those decisions and tell people why you made them.”
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