Three candidates seek two at-large seats in Emerson
by Jessica Loeding
Nov 02, 2011 | 1465 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
With Nov. 8 approaching, the three candidates seeking election in Emerson look toward a future filled with opportunities for growth.

Incumbent Terry Webb, Charles Lowry and Gary Twelkemeier are vying for the two open seats on the council -- the one held by Webb and that of Gerald Earwood who is not seeking re-election.

Mayor Al Pallone also ran unopposed and will begin his new term in January.

Name: Charles Lowry

Occupation: Retired U.S. Navy and Delta Airlines pilot

Education: Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Kansas

Family: Married 30 years, two sons and three grandchildren

Why are you seeking election? What do you hope to accomplish in that term should you be elected?

With the growth facing Emerson -- LakePoint Sports as an example -- I want to work for smart growth, not runaway, uncontrolled growth. We must try our best to retain the great qualities of our town while maintaining and improving our current infrastructure. The Daily Tribune article on Sept. 27, 2011, about water loss in the Emerson city water system is an example of systemic problems we face with our aging infrastructure.

The LakePoint Sports complex will be a great partner for Emerson in the future. With thousands of jobs coming, I want to encourage LakePoint and other businesses to consider qualified Emerson residents for those jobs first.

We need to welcome businesses that can provide jobs and improve the quality of life for the families of Emerson.

What makes you the best candidate for the council?

My previous job experience. I have been involved in all phases of management, including operations, administration, maintenance and human relations.

I am a small business owner. I am currently serving on the Emerson Planning and Zoning Commission. I am the past commodore and treasurer of my boating organization; I am actively involved in the collection and distribution of toys and clothing for Advocates for Children through the organization's Christmas toy drive. I am the current president of our homeowners advisory board.

Are there any key details about your background and experience that you feel voters should know about?

I am a former United States Navy fighter pilot and flew over 150 combat missions in Vietnam off the aircraft carrier USS Oriskany. I was an instructor and operations officer of a fleet adversary squadron and flew adversary support with the Navy fighter weapons school -- "Top Gun." I was commanding officer of Fleet Composite Squadron 885 and Fighter Composite Squadron VFC-13, an adversary squadron based at Miramar Naval Air Station. I served our country for six years on active duty and 16 years on active reserve duty.

Following my active duty with the U.S. Navy, I was a pilot and lead flight instructor with Delta Airlines for 31 years. I have been a Bartow County resident for over 20 years and reside in Emerson.

Name: Gary Twelkemeier

Occupation: Retired, part-time

Education: University of South Carolina

Family: Married to wife Fran for 35 years; two sons, three grandchildren and one on the way

Why are you seeking election? What do you hope to accomplish in that term should you be elected?

The city of Emerson is facing the possibility of extraordinary growth in business and population over the next few years. During my 38-plus year tenure with Ford Motor Company, I was involved in both growth and downsizing cycles. I was liaison manager between Ford, Land Rover, Jaguar and Volvo divisions for several years. In addition I had several years of auditing responsibilities, particularly, as it pertained to Sarbanes Oxley legislation. I was also a manager of two different regions with over 50 employees reporting to me. For three years I was the manager over Ford's internet sales program for used vehicles to its dealers. Probably the high watermark for my career was being a part of Ford's Remarketing Department management team that sold a billion dollars in used cars in one year. That feat had never been accomplished and has not been repeated. I feel led to share the knowledge and experience attained from these experiences with my community.

A successful community and business environment is achieved through a balance of looking out for each other's best interest. If I am elected, I will try to serve both of these constituents. I must interject that my wife and I moved to Emerson to be in a small town close to our family. Family values and maintaining the small-town feel will be high on my agenda.

What makes you the best candidate for the council?

I hesitate putting a best candidate label on myself. I have attended Emerson City Council meetings and find the members to be good stewards of our city's affairs. I also know Charles Lowery who is also running for a city council position -- I think it's his first time to run for the Emerson City council also. He is a retired Delta pilot. All my dealings with him have been warm and cordial. I believe he would make an excellent council member. Terry Webb is also running for re-election. I have a huge amount of respect for this man. He is obviously a committed Christian and a pillar of his community. I am proud to be on the ballot with these men.

Are there any key details about your background and experience that you feel voters should know about?

I am a history buff. One of my delights in moving to Emerson is that I have fallen in love with its heritage. For example, did you know the first recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor occurred in part because of their ride through Emerson? Did you know that Custer's defeat is directly related to an incident in Emerson? Did you know the remains of one Georgia's earliest commerce centers lies buried under the Allatoona Dam? The town was named Etowah and was burned to ground when Sherman made his visit to Atlanta. Some of the survivors became Emerson residents. If elected, I would strive to preserve and promote our historical past.

Name: Terry Webb

Occupation: Retired cook

Education: Bachelors in biblical education

Family: Married 55 years with two daughters

Why are you seeking re-election? What do you hope to accomplish in that term should you be elected?

I am committed to helping improve the city and over the years I've proven that fact. I enjoy working with the people of Emerson and I want to continue to make a difference here. I take great pride in helping my city grow. I would like to see the projects that we started here in Emerson completed, and I would like to see the infrastructure of the city repaired.

What makes you the best candidate for the council?

I know Emerson; I've lived here 70-plus years. I have years of experience working on the council and I've been instrumental in helping the community of Emerson grow. And, as always, I will put forth my best effort to continue working with the people of Emerson.

Are there any key details about your background and experience that you feel voters should know about?

I have served on the city council for the past 20-plus years and I've always worked with the people in office to come to the best decisions for the city of Emerson. I have seen and lived through many major changes that the city has gone through. I would like to continue serving my community and to see our latest project -- LakePoint -- come to its completion.