Gwaltney seeks fifth term on city council
District Three Cairo City Councilman Bobby Gwaltney is wrapping up his 16th year on the city council and announced plans this week to seek another four-year term in the Nov. 3 municipal election.
Gwaltney said he will qualify for his fifth term of office on Monday when qualifying opens. The qualifying period ends at 4:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 4.
“I came on in 2000 in the middle of the mess with the LAS (Land Application Sewer system) and we got that cleaned up. I said I wanted to stay on until we got out of debt with CNS Cable and it looks like in about two years we will have that debt paid off. I’d like to be there to wrap that up,” Gwaltney said Tuesday.
If re-elected, Gwaltney plans to focus on downtown revitalization.
“I know some of this is in the works now, but I want to see more retail businesses downtown and us having more activities downtown. I’ve been to a lot of towns over the last six years with my work and many are in the same boat as us. The ones that have done something to improve downtown and have activities and business downtown are doing well. Those that haven’t done anything are pretty much dead. I don’t want to see Cairo’s downtown dead and boarded up,” Gwaltney said.
The veteran councilman retired from full-time employment with Windstream Communications almost six years ago. He is currently employed by E-M Communications of Tallahassee, which is a sub contractor for Windstream serving communities in Georgia, Florida and Alabama.
Gwaltney’s work keeps him on the road and he routinely travels Tuesday through Thursday for work.
In 2014 Gwaltney missed five regular council meetings, which is just over 20 percent of the meetings, and to date he has missed five in 2015 including the meeting Monday night.
However, Gwaltney says that when important issues are on the agenda he makes sure that he is in attendance.
“Sometimes I have to miss, but most of the time if there are critical issues to address I make sure I’m there to take care of my constituents,” he said.
Gwaltney said in the future he will miss even fewer meetings because he has told his employer he wants to work closer to home so that he is away from home less and has more time to spend with family and serving on the city council.
“I want to be home more and have time to spend time with my grand kids,” Gwaltney said.
He and his wife Linda are the parents of four grown sons and they have five grandchildren, one great grandchild and a second great grandchild is expected to arrive in October.
“I enjoy serving the residents of my district and believe I have represented the city well over the last 16 years. We have an excellent city manager and council. I would appreciate the opportunity to continue serving on the city council and I solicit the vote and support of the residents of Cairo District Three,” Gwaltney said.