Paul Osborne's
Councilman Pat McDaniel Is Seriously Considering A Run For Mayor

City Councilman Patrick Mc-Daniel is seriously considering running for mayor.
McDaniel told me that he has been talking to “a lot of people” in making a determination on throwing his hat into the mayoral race  -- which at this point, has no one “officially” running for the office.
Although the present mayor, Mike McElroy, has not officially announced his intentions, he told me that his intention to run will be announced at a news conference next month. McElroy served as a councilman for six years before being elected to a two-year term as mayor in 2009 and re-elected to a full four-year term in 2011.
McDaniel told me that he has been getting a lot of encouragement to run for mayor from many of the citizens he has talked with about the idea, but he hasn’t made a final decision.
McDaniel’s present city council term doesn’t expire until 2017.
I had been hearing rumors that McDaniel might challenge McElroy for the mayor’s seat so I asked him if he was running and, although he hasn’t made a final decision, in my conversation with him, I sensed there is a strong possibility. 
If McDaniel decides to challenge McElroy for mayor, it will be a little unsual for a sitting councilman in our city to take on the mayor in his re-election bid.
I remember when I was getting ready to start my campaign for re-election and Councilwoman Betsy Stockard called to tell me she was going to run against me.
Like McDaniel, her council term was not up until two years after the mayoral election so, if she wasn’t successful against me, she still had two years to serve on council before her term expired.
Stockard, or any other member of the council, had a right to run against me when I sought re-election. 
Stockard later decided not to run. 
Like Stockard, McDaniel has every right to run for mayor.
Of course, I would certainly  understand, from my own experience, that McElroy might feel a little sting when a member of his own council is seriously thinking about challenging him in his re-election bid.
If McDaniel decides to run he is well aware it is going to be a difficult job to unseat McElroy. 

Chief Walker Has Done An Outstanding Job For Community

During my last one-on-one interview with Decatur Police Chief Todd Walker it seemed apparent to me that he would be retiring as soon as making sure the move to the new police facility was completed.
Now, he has announced that he will retire on Sept. 12 after almost three decades with the department.   I’ve known Todd about all of the years that he has served in the department, as he worked his way up through the ranks to become chief.
Todd has done an outstanding job, regardless of where he has served in the police department.
We have been fortunate to have such a dedicated man working to make the community better and safer during the many years he served.
I certainly have great respect and admiration for Todd and am honored to be his friend. 
Another Candidate For Council

We have another candidate for city council.
Derrick L. Thaxton Sr. is announcing his candidacy for Decatur City Council Thursday at the Decatur Civic Center. 
  Thaxton pledges to represent all sectors of the community, and not just an elite few. He believes that every voice counts and all voices need to be heard. 
Candidates who have already declared their intentions to run for city council are Lisa Gregory and Dr. David Horn.
Three four-year seats on city council will be up for election in the spring. 

Congratulations Charles Loury

A BIG congratulation to Charles Loury who was named Decatur Citizen of the Year by the City of Decatur and the Greater Decatur Chamber of Commerce during their annual Chamber Awards Luncheon last week. 
Loury was an excellent choice for the annual award.  He is one of Decatur’s unsung heroes who work tirelessly to make the community a better place.
Other award winners were: Secret Garden for outstanding micro business; EPL Bio Analytical Services for outstanding small business, the Decatur Police Department for outstanding development; Dale Colee for entrepreneur of the year; Skeff Distributing for business expansion; John Mahaffey at Danzig and Associates for Chamber ambassador of the year; and Jessie Bovay for Decatur Leadership Institute Alumnus.
  Congratulations to all.

So You Want To Run
For Mayor Or City
Council Member?

Several years ago, I was in a local business and a person behind the counter, who realized that I was the mayor at the time, said, “You know I should run for mayor.  I’ll bet that’s a lot of fun.  Do you have to work very hard?  How much does it pay?”
The reason those words are still with me years later is that the guy was not an example of a serious candidate.
While I was certainly honored to be elected twice to the mayor’s office and, overall, enjoyed serving the years I did, I became a candidate only after giving it a lot of serious consideration and discussing my possible candidacy with a lot of people before making the final decision.
I believe that’s what serious candidates do.  They examine the direction the community needs to move, talk to many people and study the issues before taking the plunge.
Since the terms of Mayor Mike McElroy and Councilmembers Larry Foster, Pat Laegeler and Dr. Dana Ray expire next year, there is an opportunity for those who want to run for mayor or council to run for those seats.
Foster has already indicated that he will not run again. Although he has not publicly announced it, Laegeler will not seek another term and most believe that Dr. Dana Ray will not seek re-election.
There is no doubt the composition of the city council will undergo a radical change next year with half of the council seats occupied by new people. Mayor Mike McElroy hasn’t announced his intentions but I believe he will run for re-election.  By the time the next election is held McElroy will have served on council for 12 years -- six as a council member and six as mayor.

THE RIGHT WAY:  Lisa Gregory and Dr. David Horn announced their candidacies for city council last week. 
I think both candidates take running for city council seriously and did a lot of thinking and planning before they made their announcements.
I know that Gregory told me she considered running for six months and talked to a lot of people before making a final decision.
Both candidates have impressive bios and, for being the first two coming out of the council campaign chute, the quality of background, interest in moving the city forward and planning their announcements, is quite high.
There will be several other candidates for council in this election cycle and those that follow will also be interesting to consider.

ELECTION APRIL 7: Petitions for those interested in running for mayor or one of the three seats on Decatur City Council will be available beginning Tuesday, August 26.
The election will be held April 7, 2015.
The petitions will be available beginning at 8 a.m., Aug. 26, in the office of the City Clerk, located on the 2nd floor of the Decatur Civic Center, 1 Gary K. Anderson Plaza.  They will also be available online on the city’s web site at
According to City Clerk Linda M. Swartz, “Petitions must contain the signatures of 71 registered voters.   Candidates must also file a Statement of Economic Interest with the Macon County Clerk and must submit the receipt from that filing to the City Clerk when petitions are filed.  Candidate’s names will be placed on the ballot in order of time of filing.
“Council candidates must be a citizen of the United States, registered voter, age 18 or older and must reside within the city limits for one year preceding the election.  Nominating petitions may be filed in the office of the City Clerk beginning at 8:00 a.m. Monday, November 17 through 5:00 p.m. November 24, 2014.
“A primary election will be held if 13 (thirteen) petitions are filed for the council seats and/or 5 (five) petitions are filed for the Mayoral seat.”   
For more information, those interested can contact Linda at 424-2708. 

PAY ATTENTION:  I know a few candidates in past elections who were not able to get on the ballot because they had not done everything they needed to do when they presented their petitions to the city clerk.
Not having a receipt for, or failing to file the Statement of Economic Interest with the Macon County Clerk has tripped up a few.
I remember one candidate, who was ready to file at the last minute on the last day of filing, was turned away because he had not filed that particular statement and he did not have time to get it filed before the time to file petitions with the city clerk had expired.
He was not a happy camper when he left city hall.

Listen to the “City Hall Insider” hour with Paul Osborne on Byers & Co. at 7:00 every Thursday morning over NEWS/TALK 1340 WSOY.  


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Paul Osborne
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