Continuing to move the town forward was a common theme among Garden City mayoral candidates Monday night during a forum held at The Evelyn Burrow Center on the campus of Wallace State.
Incumbent Harden Davis and challenger Larry "Bird" Walker participated in the event, sponsored by The Cullman Times and the Cullman Area Chamber of Commerce. Tim Eskew is also running for mayor, but was not present due to prior obligations.
"I have to agree with mayor Davis — we definitely need to continue the work that's being done," Walker said. "The second thing that we need to do is maintain the town. The only thing different that could be done is to push something to come in. We've got a lot of land, and a lot of strength there. I can travel, talk, and sell. We just need to maintain what we've got and push forward."
Davis, who is currently in his 10th year as mayor of Garden City, said as with any project he begins, he likes to see that it's finished. One particular effort he would like to see accomplished, if elected again, is completing the replacement of all of the town's water pipes — something Walker also said would be a priority if he were elected.
"We have a lot of iron pipes we need to get out," Davis said. "I'd like to see it where we don't have to go out everyday looking for a leak. We've got it on the move, but it's looking to take another six months. We should get it started within the next month or two."
Though both want to see the town grow, neither candidate was in favor of legal sales of alcohol, should a referendum for legal sales be passed in the county.
"We're a very Christian town," Walker said. "I think our neighbors can handle that. That's not the kind of ‘forward’ I'm talking about. Cullman and Hanceville are both doing good with it, and right now, I can live without it.”
Davis echoed those thoughts.
"I don't know if Cullman County will come in or not," Davis said. "If we could keep it out, I would. I don't know that it would be that beneficial to the town."
When asked how their skills and strengths would benefit the town if elected, Walker said he feels his time as a businessman could help in selling the town to future small businesses and industries.
"I've got a big mouth and I'm not afraid to use it," he laughed. "I'm real good at selling, and just feel we can get out and sell the town, enough that businesses would be interested in coming in."
With his previous stints in office, as well as municipality training, Davis said he feels like he has all the right tools to be mayor.
"I'm in good health, and feel I've got another four years to finish," Davis said.
Here is the forum in its entirety, split into two videos: