LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Supporters back New for Gadsden mayor

·12 min read

Positive attitude

I find Heather New to have the fire and determination that Gadsden’s next mayor will absolutely require.

I moved to Gadsden from a larger city in 2019, and it means a lot to me that Heather sees the potential for our city with so much to offer. People like me in the work from home community appreciate ingenuity, efficiency and pride in their municipal officials.

There is a lot of work to do. She has a good plan, research and a positive attitude that I hope will foster cooperation among our community members to get involved in our city. I appreciate that she knows the spectrum of prosperity firsthand — and will inclusively work for every citizen.

Jenny Quattlebaum

Gadsden

Strong economic background

This is a very important election year. It’s of critical importance to know who your elected officials are.

Who are the people making the important decisions for our city? The mayor and City Council can make or almost break our city, as we saw with the rendering plant fiasco. Getting the right people in these positions is so very important.

My family believes Heather New is the right person for the mayoral leadership role. She’s a very educated, intelligent lady. She has a strong background in economic development. She’s a big advocate of small businesses and a small business owner herself. She has a vast knowledge in the areas of education and preparation of young people.

She understands how important it is to make Gadsden an attractive place where people want to live, work and raise their families. She knows what people want to see in their local leadership.

She understands how people are tired of the Gadsden backroom business, conducted and benefitted by few at the cost to so many. She is a big advocate for governmental transparency. She has educated herself on municipal airport operations by consulting successful airport management professionals.

She has a long history in volunteer work. She loves people in the Christian way, as we’re all supposed to. She has a genuine servant’s heart. We urge everyone to vote and elect Heather Brothers New to be the next mayor of Gadsden.

Brian Nagashima

Gadsden

Big plans

I am a resident of Gadsden and have been subjected to Craig Ford’s smear campaign in the mail. Mail is the only way he can reach me as he has blocked me on all social media platforms.

In my opinion there is only one candidate running for mayor that needs to be elected, and that person is Heather Brothers New.

She is extremely educated in the areas we need to focus on in our community. She has a background in business development and also the education, contacts, experience and vision to fulfil her platform promises.

Her platform includes workforce development and education, economic development, quality of life, recreation and tourism, governmental transparency, accessibility and Inclusion, and, finally, first steps. She goes into great detail about what she wants to do and how she will get there.

She has big plans for the city she loves and I want to be around to see it all come to fruition. This is the most important election in my lifetime and we need to get it right. We don’t need a longtime career politician who will continue on the same path that got us where we are today. Gadsden needs something NEW.

Kathy Brothers

Gadsden

Mudslinging vs. positivity

Tired of the mayor’s election yet? Me too. But I can’t do anything. But as someone who cares about the future and success of Gadsden, I feel strongly about the truth being told.

Craig Ford seems to be blowing up his budget just to trash Heather New. So, let’s clear some things up:

He spread a rumor that Mrs. New had taken $15,000 from the Advance Etowah PAC, implying it was for some form of favors. The Truth: Campaign donations are made in every election. Advance Etowah made donations to all candidates that made the proper request. Prior to Mr. Ford‘s magnanimous post about returning his check, he sent three texts to Advance Etowah begging for a donation. The amount donated to each was based on the candidate’s level of participation in the fight against the rendering plant. Mrs. New’s participation was considerably higher than Ford’s; her donation reflected that. She wasn’t paid for future favors; she was thanked for what she’d already done.

Mr. Ford loves to claim that he helped fight to end the rendering plant. When pushed, he says he fought “behind the scenes.” The Truth: I was there from Day One; Ford was not. When we were protesting, he was checking to see which way the wind was blowing. The Truth: When we won, he wanted to claim to be part of the victory, yet slam Mrs. New for being part of the lawsuits of the same group.

I don’t know how y’all feel about campaigning, but I detest mudslinging. It seems he’s spent the majority of his time going after Mrs. New. The lies and the attempts to manipulate are classic Craig Ford election tactics. It’s what he does in every election. Has anyone heard anything like that from Heather New? What I’ve seen are positive posts on social media about the potential that is in Gadsden, and her plans for bringing out that potential.

From an “outsider” who loves my neighbors, please vote for a mayor who has a vision to pull Gadsden out of the past and move it toward prosperity.

Shannon Coin Barker

Rainbow City

A mayor for all the people

Heather Brothers New is a candidate for mayor of Gadsden. and I fully support her. Even then I knew that she would accomplish great things in her lifetime. She was a most amiable young lady who overcame some difficult situations. Once Heather believed in her strong capabilities, there were no tasks that she could not conquer; she was diligent and driven. Her resolve was unstoppable.

Throughout her adult years, Heather has honed these qualities, which are evident in all that she has accomplished. She is running for mayor on her own merits, not by casting aspersions on her opponents.

The job of mayor is arduous. Heather is ready, willing and most able to discharge the duties of being mayor. She loves the City of Gadsden, and I know that she will do great things for its citizens. Heather Brothers New will make a fantastic mayor of Gadsden. She will be a mayor for all the people, and one that we can look to with confidence and pride.

Carol Hudson

Gadsden

City at a crossroads

Investigative reporter John Archibald this year wrote a series of articles on the corruption in Brookside, in Jefferson County. It exposed the corruption of the police chief, city attorney, city judge, mayor and Town Council, in extorting money from citizens of the area and beyond. The corruption went unfettered until the citizens and the free press stood up against the “status quo.”

I received a flyer in the mail from a mayoral candidate that I took exception to, and was insulted by its implication. It stated,“It’s about the Money, Not Gadsden. Christie Knowles, the SAME person who has sued our city’s water board and airport authority in hopes of lining her pockets ...”

I took exception because I am a plaintiff in the Open Meetings Act lawsuit. I can tell you it was not filed to line anyone’s pocket, but to expose a government organization that blatantly thought they were above the law. I was insulted because I know the flyer’s author knows me and what I stood for during my military career and beyond.

I had a front-row seat as Christie Knowles and Josh Sullivan extracted the truth from a group of individuals who thought that they could deceive the public without any reprisals. Board members should have been very fluent in the OMA based on their backgrounds. One chaired a governor-appointed council, another represents the largest utility company in Alabama, another is a former member of the Gadsden City Council and another is an attorney who represents city boards and serves as a municipal judge for surrounding municipalities. That same individual is a major campaign advisor to the flyer's author.

With the help of Christie and Josh, we were able to expose this corruption. We had to depend on them because we were not fortunate enough to have a John Archibald in our corner.

Gadsden is at a crossroads, and we must decide the course this city will navigate in the future. Do we support candidates who protect and defend the “status quo,” or do we elect officials who demand transparency and accountability? We are on the clock.

Lance Koury

Gadsden

Leadership qualities

I am an insider. I didn’t know that was my label, but according to Craig Ford I am.

After 41 years in the military, I do know what it takes to be a good leader. You first must have a vision and a plan, and follow it. Heather New has displayed she has both and she cares about other people. People will accept her leadership role and respond well to it.

Craig Ford, on the other hand, is trying to rule out of fear. He will never have my respect. He sent out a mailer full of lies and I am appalled. Gadsden will not grow to be a great city under his leadership. He will never earn my respect and that of others playing dirty politics and spreading lies.

Leland Barker

Gadsden

Taking action for change

Having been born and raised in East Gadsden, I am closely watching this mayoral race.

I remember East Gadsden in the 80’s; we had thriving neighborhoods, businesses and schools. I attended Donehoo Elementary, Cory Middle and Litchfield High until ’91. The education problems in Gadsden today didn’t happen overnight and they need immediate and long-term action plans in place.

In 1990, at age 15, I began working in the Agricola Shopping Center and saw firsthand the decline of that area, the businesses in it and the impact on the surrounding community. I later spent 15 years managing in the Gadsden Mall, I watched big brands leave, including the Gap in 2012.

I then began to commute to Oxford and Birmingham for more opportunities, work stability and higher pay. Gadsden is more than downtown and Rainbow Drive, we have struggling businesses and communities in the city that need their voices heard and a plan in place to succeed.

I am back and working in Gadsden now, I see areas that have grown and areas that have been forgotten. Gadsden will greatly benefit from a mayor with experience and knowledge of the needs and concerns of all communities in Gadsden and the surrounding area as well.

We need our mayors in Etowah County to unite, align and work together for us to thrive as a whole. Heather New understands this and possesses the qualities and competencies needed to do so.

We are at the cusp of exciting growth and change in Gadsden and the greater Gadsden area. Heather’s track record proves she not only talks about issues, but takes action for change.

For decades now, cities around us have found a way to work together, grow and thrive in an inclusive way. It is time for change and time for Gadsden residents to do three crucial things that will impact this race the most: Educate yourselves on all the candidates, pray and vote Aug. 23 as God leads you.

I am a Southside resident with a heart for Gadsden; if I had a vote, it would be for Heather New.

Tia Stephens

Southside

Servant heart

Before I was appointed as a federal judge, I was active in community activities, especially the Center for Cultural Arts. After I retired as a judge, I returned to being involved in community activities. I live in the same neighborhood where I lived as a child. I helped Craig Ford in some of his campaigns, but I stopped doing that.

I agree with the letters supporting Heather New. She has worked effectively and long to make her community a better place. She volunteers. She works well and is well known in all parts of our community. She lives caring for others and showing her servant heart. She lives like most of us talk about in church.

Heather New will make a good mayor for Gadsden. You should support her.

Jamie Sledge

Gadsden

Mover and shaker

Heather Brothers New brought The Chamber of Gadsden & Etowah County up from barely there to a solvent, usefully functioning organization.

Heather cares about Gadsden. She won’t be building more buildings for entertainment, she will be working to attract more industry to our area, industry that will supply some of our needs while providing viable employment for our youth.

Heather isn’t part of the “good ole boy” club, she’s a mover and a shaker. She fights for women’s equal pay, she looks at the big picture and sees what we need to bring new industry, education and workforce development so our children don’t have to move away to survive. She works tirelessly to bring new ideas and new growth to Gadsden.

I was born in Attalla 79.5 years ago, but lived most of my life in Gadsden. I love North Alabama, I love my home in Gadsden. I lived in the northern states for many years and always longed to be back “home.”

I believe that Gadsden needs something, someone new. I support Heather Brothers New for the next mayor of Gadsden, for our future and the successful future of our children and grandchildren.

Catherine Schanbarger

Gadsden

Not afraid to fight

This letter is in support of Heather Brothers New, who is running for mayor of the City of Gadsden. She has been involved in many leadership positions in our city, including president and CEO of The Chamber of Gadsden & Etowah County.

She strongly supports workforce development and education in Gadsden. She believes success breeds success, and she is not afraid to fight for what is right.

She and her husband, Blake, and their three children are Gadsden people who love our city.

Miki A. Cook

Retired educator, Gadsden

Letters to the Editor must be 350 words or less and will be published online; submit to greg.bailey@gadsdentimes.com. Letters represent the viewpoint of the writer, not The Gadsden Times or the USA TODAY Network.

This article originally appeared on The Gadsden Times: Letters to the Editor from New supporters