Three candidates vie for Emerson City Council seats
by Jason Lowrey
Oct 13, 2013 | 2121 views | 0 0 comments | 42 42 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Three candidates are running for two at-large seats on the Emerson City Council this year. Incumbents Ed Brush and Brenda Tidwell are running to keep their positions while Donnie Bagwell is challenging both of them.

Emerson voters will have their say in who sits on the council Nov. 5.

Name: Donnie Bagwell

Occupation: Plant Manager at Ampacet Corporation located in Cartersville, Ga.

Family: Married to Kelly Stover Bagwell. We have two sons ... Brack, a sophomore at Shorter University, and Grayson, a freshman at Woodland High School.

Education: Marketing degree from Kennesaw State University

Age: 46

Email: donnie.bagwell@ampacet.com

Why did you decide to run for this particular race?

A: I believe Emerson is at a crossroads and I feel that I possess some useful tools — managing, budgeting and growing a local manufacturing plant — that can be helpful to the city and citizens of Emerson. One foundational belief I have is that we need to give of ourselves more than we ever take.

If elected, what do you want to accomplish?

A: Ensure smart growth for Emerson. The location of Emerson is desirable on both a residential and commercial front. Growth is inevitable, so we must embrace this and have a plan for it. We need to lead and advocate positive, sustainable growth that provides for the city and the citizens of Emerson and ensure Emerson is a great place to live.

What is the most pressing issue facing Emerson?

A: LakePoint and the declining infrastructure in Emerson. Not only from the perspective of growth, but also from the perspective of the 1,500 residents who already call Emerson home. Emerson has a large senior population and these people cannot single-handedly carry the burden of getting LakePoint off the ground. Our citizens need to see the positive impact LakePoint will have, and what the growth can bring to our community, and they must see this as a partnership.

Once in office, what will be your top priority?

A: Always, my top priority will be to represent the people of Emerson ensuring not only smart growth for our community, but to use the contacts I have — like State Rep. Paul Battles, Bartow County Commissioner Steve Taylor and GDOT representative Jeff Lewis — to educate myself on issues facing our community and make the best decision for the future of Emerson.

Why are you the best candidate for the position?

A: I have leadership skills and an innovative mindset. This, along with fresh eyes and fresh ideas, will be asset for me in this position. I can quickly become educated on the key issues facing the city, but being a leader and being creative are attributes you either have or you desire. It is with a servant attitude I approach most aspects of my life. As I have stated above, I feel that we must always give more than we take. Emerson has been my home for 20 years, and we love raising our children close to family and friends. I am very active in the community. I serve in both civic and public organizations as well as my church. I would be honored to be elected and I know I would serve the people and the city of Emerson to the very best of my capabilities.

Name: Ed Brush

Occupation: Real estate

Family: Married, three children and two grandchildren

Education: Degrees in business, psychology and sociology

Age: 59

Email: edbrush@bellsouth.net

Why did you decide to run for this particular race?

A: I have been fortunate to serve the citizens of Emerson on the city council for the last eight years. During that time I have learned a great deal about the challenges that face a municipality. I decided to run again, so that I could continue to help Emerson remain fiscally responsible while still providing for the needs of its citizens. The city of Emerson is very fortunate to have a great group of employees that work extremely hard to keep the city running smoothly.

If elected, what do you want to accomplish?

A: If re-elected, I want to accomplish having a long-term plan that assesses the needs of all the citizens. We need a five-to-10 year plan that looks at where we are currently and where we would like to be with a strategic plan to accomplish those goals. The plan should incorporate the input of all the members of our community.

What is the most pressing issue facing the city of Emerson?

A: Emerson has several pressing issues. The ability to fund the means to take care of and upgrade parts of the older water and sewer infrastructure is a very important issue. Managing the growth opportunities that are coming over the next five to 10 years is also a challenge. I believe we are well positioned to handle that challenge.

Once in office, what will be your top priority?

A: If elected, my top priorities will be to continue to be fiscally responsible and to be responsive to the concerns of the citizens. I hope as we grow as a city, that more of our citizens will be able to find time to attend city council meetings and let their voices be heard.

Why are you the best candidate for this position?

A: I think that I am the best candidate because I care very much about this community. I bring experience on the council along with a background in finance in the private sector. I believe that I will be able to contribute to managing the upcoming growth in a positive manner. I think I can help balance our economic development with the preserving of our community and its history.

Name: Brenda (Fouts) Tidwell

Occupation: Transportation, tourism and travel

Family: Hubert Fouts (deceased); mother, Joye Darwin, Emerson resident; daughter, Elizabethe Tidwell, Emerson resident; granddaughter, Ingrid, Emerson resident

Age: 59

Education: Elementary school grades 1-8, Emerson Elementary; high school, Cass High School; college, AS, Dalton College; BS, Georgia State University

Email: bdtidwell@bellsouth.net

Why did you decide to run for this particular race?

A: Because I feel that it is important for the people of Emerson to have someone listening to them and looking out for their best interest.

If elected, what do you want to accomplish?

A: To ensure that the new development in the city of Emerson abides by all the rules and doesn’t wind up harming the city of Emerson.

What is the most pressing issue facing Emerson?

A: Old infrastructure and new development.

Once in office what will be your top priority?

A: Continued development, with no cost to the citizens.

Why are you the best candidate for the position?

A: I am a lifelong resident of the area, I have proven in the past that I have the best interest of the citizens at heart. I am concerned about the well-being of all citizens.