Meet the Candidates: Grayson White

By on 23 February, 2011 in Government, Legal Issues with 1 Comment

On March 8th, much of Midtown will go to the polls to elect a new representative for District 7 of the Montgomery City Council. Now that Martha Roby has gone off to Washington to represent Montgomery in Congress, eight candidates have qualified for the special election to replace her. Midtown Montgomery Living is interviewing candidates throughout the month and posting results as we get them. Candidates submit their answers to MML in writing and the only edits we make are for grammar or punctuation. Next up is Grayson White. You can see the other candidates here.

What do you do for a living?

I am a third generation owner/operator of Looney’s Super Skate, a family entertainment business my grandfather, Pleas Looney, brought to Montgomery in 1941.

What is your educational background?

I attended Auburn Montgomery in Theater Education and Troy University – Montgomery in Business Management.

Are you married? Any children?

I have been married for 20 years to my wife KC (Armstrong) and we have 5 children ranging in age from 18 years to 11 months (one child deceased).

How long have you lived in Montgomery?

I am a lifelong resident.

Does your campaign have a website?

politics4all.com/graysonwhitefor7 – You can also find me on Facebook and Twitter.

Why are you running for city council?

My love for Montgomery runs deep. I believe every resident of Montgomery deserves a safe place to live and raise a family, healthy businesses and jobs. The Council needs a representative who is willing to roll up his sleeves and hit the ground running. I am a hard worker with a strong sense of community and believe Montgomery’s District 7 needs a representative that will represent the whole district — not just parts of it. I understand the concerns of District 7’s residents and I can be effective in representing those concerns. I have the experience and the dedication to serve the residents with a strong voice. Whether they live in Cloverdale, Normandale, Lakeview Heights or neighborhoods off Rosa Parks, they all will be represented.

How many council meetings have you attended?

Although I can’t put a number on the meetings I’ve attended, I have been attending meetings for approximately two years.

Who do you think is the most effective current council member, and why?

Each member is effective in their own way, having their individual approaches to dealing with the issues brought before them. There are various levels of Council experience among the representatives, making it very difficult to judge one against the other. Also, I don’t feel qualified to answer this question based only on observations made during hour-long City Council meetings. Ultimately, it is the job of the council members’ constituents to make this determination.

What did you think of Martha Roby’s time as D7 rep on the council? Did she do a good job?

I think she did a good job representing District 7. She was faithful to attend the City Council meetings and did not hesitate to make her voice heard, whether in agreement or opposition. She was always accessible to me and willing to hear my concerns and thoughts. I admired her because she would not pretend to know the answer to a question when she didn’t, but would work to find the answer. She educated herself on the issues so that she could make the best decision possible. She would not hesitate to express her doubt about certain actions, but at the same time, was also able to offer an alternate solution.

What distinguishes you from your fellow candidates?

Several things distinguish me from my fellow candidates: Not only do I have experience to bring to the table, I have a strong desire to serve the residents of District 7. I qualified to run with signatures rather than paying the qualifying fee so that I could meet the residents and listen to their concerns before throwing my hat into the ring. My experience with my business’s customers has taught me about appreciating and relating to people from all walks of life.

The City Council seems like a ‘full-time part-time job.’ How do you plan to make time in your schedule?

Due to the nature of my business, I have a great deal of flexibility in my schedule, especially during the day. I will be able to adjust my schedule around City Council meetings and work sessions as well as neighborhood meetings so that I can attend as many as possible.

What are the major issues that you see confronting District 7?

My discussions with residents throughout the district confirmed that we all share the same basic concerns for a safe place to live and raise our families, healthy businesses and good jobs. Although safety, businesses and jobs are the basic issues, other specific issues vary from neighborhood to neighborhood.

What do you intend to do to solve those issues?

I will not support any funding cuts to limit the public safety programs which include police and fire protection, but will support all measures to strengthen these services, as well as work to strengthen neighborhood associations. I will look for ways to provide for a strong economic climate to attract businesses to the area which will, in turn, provide new jobs. It will be my job to stay abreast of the concerns of District 7’s residents and advocate on their behalf.

What is your position on residential recycling?

I miss curbside recycling, as I’m sure many people do. I believe that residents should be encouraged to continue recycling using the drop-off locations.

What should the City Council do about urban blight?

Urban blight is not only an eyesore, it’s dangerous. Blighted areas can attract criminals, hinder development and hurt property values. I believe that the City Council should do a thorough study of the current codes as they apply to blighted areas to determine which ones are being enforced, if they are being enforced uniformly and why or why not. Properties posing an immediate threat to public health and safety should be demolished in accordance with the law. Private redevelopment should always be encouraged, but the City Council should also take advantage of any and all grant opportunities available to cities for restoration of blighted areas.

Is Smart Code good for Cloverdale?

Smart Code zoning is good for Cloverdale in that it will help preserve the unique character of the neighborhood. It protects the historic neighborhood from new structures being built which could clash with the existing buildings. It also protects the commercial corridors along East Fairview and Cloverdale Road, among others, so that they will remain pedestrian friendly.

In a world where higher taxes seems to be totally off the table as an option for raising revenue, what ideas do you have for filling the hole in the city’s budget? If you think programs and services can/should be cut, please be specific about which ones and how much.

My first suggestion would be that all city expenses and reserve funds be put on the table for examination and consideration. Department heads should be asked for their input and encouraged to develop operational priorities. A financial advisory board, consisting of residents and the City’s budget/financial managers, should be considered for the purpose of making budgetary and program recommendations.

What is something people should know about you but don’t?

I am not a politician, but a man with a heart to serve. I had the honor and privilege of providing input into the development of the teen ordinance which was enacted to regulate teen events. I have also served for eight years on the Board of Directors for the Roller Skating Association International, helping set the direction of the industry. Both of these experiences have helped prepare me for the challenges of serving the residents of District 7 and citizens of Montgomery.

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  1. charleybeema says:

    Roll right in to the future.

    How about an old fashion roller skate jam rally for District 7 residents? Play songs for the old and the young. Have demo skating for entertainment.

    Skate your way to victory across District 7.

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