Four more to run for Clay Municipal Office
By Crystal McGough
Clay residents Albert Neny, Ben Thackerson, Cindy Godwin and Ricky Baker submitted in their applications to run for Clay City Council Tuesday.
Neny will be running for Council Place 1 against Councilwoman Becky Johnson. He has lived in Clay for seven years and has been a teacher at Hewitt-Trussville High School for the last four years.
Neny said his decision to run for office was based on what he could do for the city, not what the city could do for him.
“It’s just something I feel led to do,” he said. “I don’t know what part I’ll play in this thing, but I’d like to have a say-so and maybe have some input in bringing Clay to another level. The ballpark was a huge deal to Clay.”
Neny said that he feels that Clay becoming its own city was a good thing.
“Look what they’ve done to the old Cosby Park,” he said. “They’ve done a lot of good things that we wouldn’t have if we were still in the county.”
Thackerson will be running for Council Place 3 against Carol Foster. He has lived in Clay 24 years and is Chairman of the Clay Park and Recreation Board. He has served on the board since 2004.
“One of my main objectives is to continue improvements on the parks that we have,” Thackerson said. “I (plan to) work with the mayor and council on future improvements in other areas, whether it be public safety, roadways or budgetary items.”
Godwin will be running for Council Place 5 against Councilwoman Jackie Hambrick and Clay resident Ricky Baker. She has lived in Clay 36 years and is retired from teaching at Pinson Valley High School after 23 years.
Godwin said that the Jan. 23 tornado inspired her to run for council. Her home in Chalkville was hit by the tornado.
“After the tornadoes, I realized that there was so much involved with the cleanup,” she said. “Not only did people need help, they needed someone to come by just to talk to them. To know that someone else cared was such a big thing. I want the community to come together. They have come together so much with this storm.”
Baker will also run for Council Place 5 against Godwin and Hambrick. He has lived in Clay 15 years and currently serves on the Park and Recreation Board. He was a Clay Councilman from 2002 to 2008 and was over Parks and Recreation during his time in office.
“I’m running on the platform of improving police protection in Clay,” he said. “I think Clay should have it’s own police force.”
Baker said that he plans to improve parks and recreation in Clay, as well.
The 2012 Clay Municipal Candidates are as follows: Ed McGuffie and Charles Webster for mayor; Becky Johnson and Albert Neny for Place 1; Kevin Small for Place 2; Carol Foster and Ben Thackerson for Place 3; Mark Halstead for Place 4; Cindy Godwin, Jackie Hambrick and Ricky Baker for Place 5.
Clay residents will be able to vote at the Clay Community Center and Clearview Baptist Church.