Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Several consider running for mayor in Cabot in ’06

IN SHORT: As Stumbaugh considers a race for Congress, former Mayor Allman and others ponder a mayoral race.

Leader staff writer

The race for Cabot mayor in 2006 could prove interesting if all the politicians who say they are being asked to run actually do.

According to coffeeshop talk, the former mayor and at least two others are possible candidates against Mayor Stubby Stumbaugh. But so far, no one has announced, not even the mayor.

At press time, Stumbaugh was working on a press release about a possible candidacy for Congress against Marion Berry, but he said as soon as he announces for any office, (mayor or Congress), Federal Communications Commission rules will prohibit him from speaking on the radio unless his opponent is given equal time.

So which one is he running for? He isn’t saying.

Former Mayor Joe Allman also isn’t saying much either just yet.

“I haven’t made up my mind, but I have had a lot of encouragement to run,” Allman said last week.

Allman says he’s concerned that the sidewalk project started during his administration has not kept going. He’s concerned about drainage and about the fund for the railroad overpass that has not been added to since Stumbaugh took office.

The overpass will cost about $5 million with the city being responsible for about $1 million.

The council is working on a plan to finance the city’s part but if the project moves forward as anticipated, the state will need the full amount later this year.

Allman also has been mentioned as a possible candidate for city council to replace longtime Alderman Bob Duke, who says he doesn’t intend to run again.

“I feel like 30 years is enough,” Duke said Tuesday.

“I feel like some of the younger generation can do a better job than I can. I’ll finish out this term and then hang it up.”

So will Allman take that path rather than try to win back the office he lost to Stumbaugh more than two years ago?

“I haven’t made my mind up about that,” he said.

Former Alderman Eddie Joe Williams doesn’t hesitate to talk about his intentions, especially since the Leader reminded its readers last month that he actually announced shortly after Stumbaugh took office.

“I’m running,” Williams said Tuesday.

Williams, who worked toward getting the railroad overpass on the highway department schedule for construction, addressed the council recently to spur them into attempting to fund it three years ahead of schedule.

If the federal money is available this year instead of in 2008, the city shouldn’t let the opportunity slip by, Williams said.
Alderman David Polantz, serving his fifth term on the city council, has taken a leading role in recent years. Currently, he is the chairman of several council committees.

He has asked the council to put before voters a millage increase to pay for the overpass and to help pay for the community center, which is under-funded by $1.2 million.

Once a political ally of the mayor, the two have been at odds lately, and Stumbaugh says Polantz intends to run for his job.

“I’m praying about it,” Polantz said. “I’ll decide in the fall. It’s a very big decision.”