DECATUR, Ala. (WAFF) - If you live in Decatur, there are seven men hoping to become your next mayor.
Incumbent, Tab Bowling says he’s made a lot of progress in the last four years.
He says he’s helped create $1.2 billion in business expansion and wants to keep that progress going under his leadership.
If re-elected, Bowling will be the first mayor to serve a consecutive term for Decatur since 1994.
“I think I’ve earned it. I love this city. I’ve been here all my life. it’s like pastoring a very large church serving as mayor. You have to have a heart to serve,” Bowling said.
Bowling has been heavily criticized by his opponents for not being transparent enough with the ongoing 3M legal battle, but he says he can’t speak publicly while the process plays out during court-ordered mediation
A former Decatur city council member is hoping to unseat Bowling.
This is William Matthews’ third attempt at Mayor.
If elected he wants to improve the transportation system in the city and work with the city council better.
“I think they don’t understand the tip of the ice-burg of the mayor-council relationship and I think I can improve that area. I just want to be a part of this great, great city that we have. I have a vision I think we can make it greater together,” Matthews said.
There’s also James Barnum, the youngest candidate on the ballot.
At 23, he says his age won't keep him from being a great mayor.
Barnum is a graduate of Austin High School and wants to work on keeping people in Decatur.
“Yes we have a lot of retail and fast food places coming in but that’s not really going to help grow the city. What’s going to help grow the city is higher paying jobs, having incentives for people to stay in Decatur,” Barnum said.
Those are the candidates we were able to catch up with Monday night, but also on the ballot is Jonathan Baggs, a Decatur native with 12 years of experience as a local journalist.
David Childers, the director of EMS for First Response Ambulance, says he has the right financial experience to make Decatur a better city.
Paul Serwatka says he can make Decatur thrive with a proactive mayor.
And finally, Former Police Officer John Moore Sr. says he wants to clean up Decatur.