District 3 City Council candidate Ray Glaze says Decatur city leaders, including incumbent opponent Paige Bibbee, focus too much on the small stuff when the city is facing “big-scale” issues.
The city’s largest district, District 3 stretches from Point Mallard in Southeast Decatur to Spring Avenue in Southwest Decatur and covers the Flint, Indian Hills and Burningtree areas.
Glaze, marketing director for ServPro, is facing Bibbee, Carlton McMasters and Philip Wright in the Aug. 25 municipal election. If necessary, the runoff would be Oct. 6.
“We spend too much time on the small stuff that doesn’t matter,” Glaze said. “There are a lot of needs like recreation, streets and gutters, sewage problems and economic development.”
Glaze said the city needs to “quit underselling itself” and unify.
“The media keeps telling us what’s wrong about us, but we need to tell people what’s right about the city,” Glaze said. “We need to be better salespeople to sell people on what we’ve got here to offer them.”
Glaze said he believes his business experience would help the city.
“I’ve gained a lot of practical wisdom and business sense in my multi-faceted career, and have a proven track record as a creative problem solver,” Glaze said. “In my supervisory and management positions, I’ve learned how to formulate and implement cost-effective strategies to stimulate continuous growth and improvements in the workplace.”
Building strong relationships between city government, community organizations and local businesses would be a top priority, he said.
“I want to see the One Decatur comprehensive plan fully implemented,” Glaze said.
He said it’s time to not focus so much on attracting retail businesses and make a push for smaller industries that bring in high-paying jobs.
“Our household income has got to increase,” Glaze said. “We need to be unified in going after these types of jobs like Fayette County, which teamed up with a couple of neighboring counties, did.”
He said this includes supporting the Best & Brightest Initiative, a nonprofit program that attracts recent college graduates in science, math, engineering and technology with the promise of paying off up to $15,000 of their student loans if they stay in Decatur for five years.
Glaze said the city has the steel mills to contribute to the new Mazda Toyota Manufacturing USA plant under construction in Greenbrier. Now Decatur needs to attract the plant’s suppliers.
“There are a lot of transportation industry needs like automation, IT work and quality control work that can be done anywhere and we’re in a good location to fill those needs,” Glaze said.