DeKalb County sees eight mayors running unopposed in the Aug. 25, 2020 Municipal Election, including Fort Payne candidate Brian Baine and Rainsville Mayor Rodger Lingerfelt.
Fort Payne Council President Brian Baine announced his candidacy for mayor earlier this year, stating that his main priority would be to serve the citizens of Fort Payne with honesty and respect.
Baine said the support of the community has been overwhelming, and he is feeling relief.
“I would like to thank all the folks of Fort Payne for their confidence in me and their continued support,” he said.
Baine said he looks forward to being who the city needs and the best possible person for that position while fulfilling what the community deserves.
“I want to continue moving Fort Payne forward,” he said.
With that movement, Baine said he wants to see more structure in the city departments and address the cleanliness and litter problem in Fort Payne.
“We have natural beauty here. It’s a beautiful place, but when there is litter everywhere and things are not well kept, it’s hard to see that,” he said.
Of his accomplishments throughout the years, he said one that stands out the most is the annual Race to Embrace event put on every year by the Fort Payne Optimist Club.
The event provides special needs students from around the county with a day of outdoor activities, snacks and fellowship that was started during Baine’s first year as President of the Optimist Club.
“It’s one of the events that I look forward to every year. It’s sad this year we didn’t get to have it because of the COVID-19 pandemic, “ Baine said.
Rainsville Mayor Rodger Lingerfelt is also unopposed this time around after no other candidates emerged by Tuesday night’s deadline.
“I am humbled and very grateful to be unopposed this term because it enables me to keep my focus on my job as the mayor rather than running a campaign,” he said.
Lingerfelt said it is a privilege to serve the citizens of Rainsville, and it is a job that he takes very seriously.
Before being elected mayor his first term, Lingerfelt served as Rainsville councilmen, Place 5 for 12 years. He served as the liaison for the Rainsville Fire Department, The Rainsville Sports Complex and the Rainsville Library.
As mayor, he has been the liaison to the Waste Water Treatment Plant, Public Works, Sanitation department and has served on the city Zoning Board.
“I have spent a lot of time over the years with the department heads and employees of each department and feel like I have gained a broad knowledge of each department and how it works,” said Lingerfelt.
He said there are many projects that need to be completed and projects he plans to start in the upcoming term.
A few of those projects included the Boozer Bridge and Road Project, the paving of Church Avenue, Grimes, Northside Drive and Mockingbird Lane, fixing drainage issues due to recent floods, sewer upgrades, and the continuation of road and bridge repairs and the moving of the Public Works and Sanitation Department.
Lingerfelt said another important goal is to welcome more businesses to Rainsville and create more job opportunities. While working for positive growth, he hopes to move past the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The biggest part of my job as the mayor is to plan and always be prepared for the future and keep Rainsville moving forward,” Lingerfelt said.
Along with Baine and Lingerfelt, the following mayors will be seated without opposition: Henagar Mayor Lee David, Collinsville Mayor Johnny Traffanstedt, Geraldine Mayor Chuck Ables, Mentone Mayor Rob Hammond, Powell Mayor Eugene Byrum and Hammondville Mayor John Moore who was recently sworn in to complete Susan Akes’ term.
Geraldine Mayor Chuck Ables said he feels very fortunate to be able to focus on the issues and tasks that are important instead of taking time away from work to campaign.
“I enjoy getting out and visiting with people, but right now, that is not what we need to be doing. I am honored to be able to prepare for a third term as Mayor of Geraldine with no opposition on the ballot,” he said.
Ables promised to continue to work hard to make the community as good as it can be and recruiting new businesses to help make Geraldine a better place.
“I appreciate the support and remind everyone this is a team effort that includes the five council members and all employees. Let’s all work to make things better,” said Ables.
Mentone Mayor Rob Hammond said the next four years would be more challenging for municipalities than the previous four. However, thankfully they have an experienced council, and they have been able to work well together.
“We have a good team at Town Hall. Mentone is fortunate to have many citizens who unselfishly donate time and money to make this a better place to live,” said Hammond.
He said they have a sidewalk project on the drawing boards and are looking forward to its completion.
“The bridge on AL Highway 117 should be completed this year. The town looks forward to working with ALDOT on making the old bridge a footbridge and eventually connecting the new sidewalk to it,” said Hammond.