Five seeking McKenzie mayor’s seat

Published 4:27 pm Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Town of McKenzie will have a tough choice come Aug. 28 as five candidates face off for the office of mayor.

Bill Henry, Kevin Henry, Lester Odom Jr., Mickeal Rodgers and incumbent Melvin Shufford will all be running for office in the municipal election.

Candidates’ platforms across the board are aimed at bringing a significant change to the community to keep the Town of McKenzie alive.

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Shufford, who will be running for a second term, said there are several projects he would like to see through.

“I just thought I would run again to try and help,” Shufford said. “I am working on some projects and trying to get them complete before I get out.”

Candidates like Bill Henry are concerned about where McKenzie is heading and said he wants to be hands on in helping the town thrive.

“I’ve been in this community for 15 years,” he said. “I have the time that I can devote and see what I can get done for the community. The only thing that I will promise to anybody is that I am a hard worker, honest and dependable. I’m concerned about the town, and I want to do something to help it.”

Writing and winning more grants is on the mind of Odom, who currently sits on the council.

“I am running to do my best to better the Town of McKenzie,” Odom said. “I hope that in the next four years, I can get another business in the town that would complement the ones that are already there. I would hope that we can work together to get more grants and do the best job that I can do with the resources that I have for the town.”

A major concern in the community and on the candidates’ minds is working to keep McKenzie School open.

“I have lived in McKenzie all of my life, and I have watched for the last 20 years it go downhill,” Rodgers said. “There are grants out there that the town can apply for and get new businesses in town to help the town grow and try to make sure our school stays up in McKenzie.”

Kevin Henry is hoping to start anew and bring a touch of youthfulness to the role of mayor.

“(McKenzie) is where my family comes from, and I want to make sure it exists for a little while longer,” he said. “Maybe it’s time for McKenzie to hand things over to a younger generation and somebody that might have new ideas and fresher ideas.”

The municipal election will be on Aug. 28.