Letter to the Editor

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As the longest reigning councilor for over 25 years, I have seen many improvements in Opelika and Ward 1 from economic development (jobs), safety, to our public schools. From the first phase of infrastructure and growth to the mega expansion of industries, Opelika has grown into a metropolitan city which affords amenities or attractiveness of a large city. All of the progress has come from the leadership of the City Council and Mayor working together.

One of the most misunderstood aspects of city government is the separation between the mayor and the council. Like government of the state and federal levels, the city government is divided into three separate but equal branches: legislative, executive, and judicial. Each of these branches has specific duties and powers and restrictions. The council is the legislative branch which has the authority to set policies and pass ordinances or laws that determine the services the City will offer, and the mayor is the chief executive officer of the city who runs the day by day operations of the city under the policies fixed by the city council. As a result, citizens and councilmembers must understand that individual councilmembers, acting alone, have no greater power or authority than any citizen of the city. In other words, the council can only act as the governing body.

The City of Opelika and Ward 1 have many challenges to face in the next four years; therefore, it is very important to elect the candidate that knows, works, and understands the mayor-council form of government. In addition, I believe a good council member is one who wants to serve, seeks to learn role/responsibilities, listens to citizens, and has integrity. I have listened to all of the candidates and I feel Mr. Jamie Lowe fits these qualities.

Mr. Lowe’s ability to serve has started young in his 20 years of life. Throughout his high school years he has shown leadership skills in many capacities but most importantly in the leading role as president of his class and president of two major service clubs Anchor/Key. He has spent many hours helping people and his peers as a peer tutor in nearly every subject and continues now as a Professional Math, History, and Science Tutor. Lowe is a founding member of the organization Lee County Spirit of Democracy (SOD), and he being on the steering council helped to organize media campaigns, went on the radio and did press interviews, town halls, and Civic Saturdays and created Young Spirit of Democracy. He is passionate about government and uses it for the good of people. Also, he has served as an Alabama Senate Page to Senator Ross.

His purpose driven attitude has prepared him in advance for knowing the role and responsibilities of a city councilor. He has attended consistently and frequently the Opelika City Council work sessions and business meetings since the age of 14 over half of his life. Lowe is the youngest Divorce and Family Mediator in the State of Alabama and works with the Lee County Family Court. All experiences afford him an opportunity to listen and to understand the needs of people and passionately work for them. Mr. Jamie Lowe is a student of Political Science at Auburn University, a recipient of the National Ron Brown Scholarship, and a member of the Board of Directors for Lee County Young Leaders-patterned after Leadership Lee County/Alabama.

This election is about the future of Opelika and how to continue the progress in Ward 1. Anyway you measure it, Mr. Jamie Lowe has the personality to work with all people from all walks of life and he has shown the commitment we need. I hope everyone will vote on August 25th and join me in voting for Jamie Lowe, Opelika City Council-Ward1

 Sincerely,

Councilwoman Patsy Jones, Ward 1

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