Fourth woman in Valdosta's history will serve on City Council - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Fourth woman in Valdosta's history will serve on City Council

By Jade Bulecza - bio | email

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) –For the first time in about 20 years, a woman will serve on the Valdosta City Council. Deidra White won the runoff for the district two seat being vacated by Councilman Willie Head.

Deidra White is a mother, a wife, an owner of three businesses, and now a councilwoman.

"My goals are to listen to the constituents of district two," said White. "I think they know far better than I do about what goes on their street and in their area so I intend to be very accessible to our residents."

She plans to hold town hall meetings to listen to their concerns. White says it's the right time for a woman to serve on council.

"I think we have a good ability to view the whole picture and to take the best and the worst and kind of make it all come together," said White.

White will be sworn in next month right here in council chambers. She'll be the fourth woman to serve on City Council in Valdosta's history.

According to the Lowndes County Historical Society and Museum, the first council woman was Bette Bechtel who served in 70s. The next woman and also the first black woman was Ruth Council starting in 1974.

 "I served for four years and then was re-elected two years later," said Ruth Council, a former councilwoman.

One of her accomplishments, she says, was bringing attention to the issue of substandard housing.

"I'm proud to say we are still working on that kind of issue here in our community trying to improve living conditions for our people," said Council.

Council said her experience on council was rewarding.

"A lot of people know me by having served on the city council so those doors were opened and I've enjoyed it and I'm still enjoying it at 75," said Council.

She says she was encouraged when she saw people she represented at meetings.

"I would suggest all citizens become more involved in the meetings not just when there are problems," said Council.

Jo Ann Hartman was the last councilwoman to serve starting in 1982. She ran for Mayor after her term was up against Gill Autry but lost. 

Deidra White has lived in district two for four years and has been in Valdosta for 18 years. She's originally from Atlanta.


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