Neighbors want Mathis' seat - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Neighbors want Mathis' seat

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November 3, 2005

Albany-- When City Commissioner Henry Mathis was convicted of extortion and sentenced to prison, his seat on the city commission officially opened up. Now Dorothy Hubbard, the women who the governor appointed to serve Ward Two until an election could be held, is fighting to keep the seat.

But she's being challenged by a former Marine turned security officer, Freddie Grimsley.

The Governor first appointed Dorothy Hubbard as interim Ward Two commissioner in March, after then-commissioner Henry Mathis was indicted for extortion. The retired ASU Director of Admissions first agreed to not run for the seat if Mathis was convicted.

But when that happened, the Governor gave her permission to join the race. "The view from the inside is different from the view from the outside. From the outside, you just look at things and say 'This happened and I don't like that.' But going in their to fix it is difficult," Hubbard said.

She says she quickly learned the best way to work through difficult issues facing the city is to stop fighting and start working as a team. "The people in this community do not want the bickering. They want commissioners, Mayor, citizens all working together," Hubbard said.

She plans to work to get more alleys paved in Ward Two, more police presence in the area, and to clean up the community. "I'm going to have a community clean-up day so we can do our own cleaning as well as have the City become a part of that."

She says the city must learn how to save more money and the five year strategic plan is the key to doing just that. "How can we know where we are going, if we don't have a plan to get there?"

Hubbard's only opponent in the Ward Two race is a neighbor, Freddie Grimsley. He's a former Marine who received a master degree in public administration from Columbus State.

He's now the chief of security at the Diversion Center. He says he entered to the race to create more jobs and help people get those jobs. "The first thing we need to do is de-centralize our labor department and bring part of it over to the east side due to people having problem traveling about. I think what the City can do is simple. we need to work close with our business community to bring jobs here and continue to work with our schools to create a skilled workforce."

He says the city must work to bring more businesses, services and entertainment to East Albany. And then help those businesses to succeed. "I believe that by using the value based approach, by working closely with our labor department and by working closely with our local businesses, I think that we can get the job done," said Grimsley.

The voters will decided who it will be that gets the job done for the people of Ward Two.

Besides Ward Two, two other Albany commission seats are also up from grabs. Four people are challenging Ward Three incumbent Arthur Williams. Morris Gurr, Christopher Pike, Hank Young and Bob Washington are running against Williams. Incumbent Bob Langstaff is running unopposed for the Ward Five seat.

Tomorrow night at six, we'll hear from the five candidates running for the Albany Ward Three.

Election Day is Tuesday, November 8th.

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