Candidates in Scottsboro’s mayoral race gathered for a forum hosted by Scottsboro Votes, WWIC Radio Station and the Jackson County Sentinel to answer questions about local issues in the leadup to the municipal election on Aug. 25.
In his opening statement Jim McCamy outlined a need for Scottsboro to have more detailed plans to address road paving and economic development in the city. He noted that, if elected, he would attempt to address issues of code enforcement and help keep businesses in Scottsboro as well as attract new ones.
Scottsboro’s incumbent mayor, Robin Shelton who has held the office since 2016, discussed his time as mayor and how he is passionate about helping people.
“I know the tough times and know what people are feeling now,” said Shelton while mentioning his experience starting a local business in 2007.
After opening statements, economic development and the city’s roads became hot topics for candidates.
McCamy argued that the city needed more in depth, long-term planning to address the issue and stated that the city should be working on a plan both for road paving and economic development.
“My plan is to have a plan,” said McCamy when asked about an end of year surplus in Scottsboro’s road repaving budget. “You should never have a nickel left at the end of the year. You should have to go back to get more.”
In contrast, when asked the same question about the budget surplus Shelton pushed back at his opponent’s assertion.
“It’s impossible to spend every dollar every year,” said Shelton. The mayor then explained that the process for paving roads often stretches beyond a fiscal year, causing it to seem like the city’s paving budget has a surplus at the end of the year.
The candidates were then asked how they would work to bring in new development opportunities.
McCamy, a former District Director for Rep. Bud Cramer, Ala.-5, said that his experience working in state and federal politics would ultimately allow him to help the city grow. He argued that his contacts would allow him to bring in new investment to the city.
“I’ve heard for years that it’s difficult to do business in Scottsboro,” said McCamy, “That’s unacceptable.”
Shelton noted that he had made efforts to address these issues while mayor, implementing new strategies and purchasing software to make it easier to track the process. The mayor mentioned that the Coronavirus pandemic had caused problems in the implementation of these strategies.
The final question of the mayoral candidates asked the two where they envisioned Scottsboro to be in 10 years.
“Scottsboro has got to have a 10-year plan, we have to stop looking two feet in front of us,” said McCamy, “we have got to look ahead and grow to be there.”
“My vision starts with downtown,” said Shelton, outlining a vision for Scottsboro that saw Scottsboro developing in various directions, while retaining its heritage in downtown.
“This election comes down to basic qualifications,” said McCamy “We’re going to the polls to elect a mayor to lead us forward. I will use my 34 years of local state and federal experience to help move Scottsboro forward.”
In his closing statement, Shelton outlined how he has worked to prioritize economic development, pave important roads and to help foster tourism in the city. Mentioning development projects in Hollywood and his work acquiring grants for the city. To help it grow, as well as making it a more inviting place for industry.
Scottsboro’s mayoral election will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 25. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.