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Hazlehurst mayor, three aldermen to face opposition

Two candidates filed qualifying papers by Friday’s deadline to run for the office of Mayor of Hazlehurst.

Mayor Henry Banks will face challenger Chris Perkins in the primary election on May 5.

Three of Hazlehurst’s five aldermen will face opponents in the primary.

Alderman Frank Jones will seek re-election to his Ward 1 post. Also filing qualifying papers for that post is Charles Magee.

In Ward 2, Alderman Frank “Buster” Pickering is being challenged by Ronald Sims and Derrick Cupit.

Ward 3 Alderman Shirley Sandifer is unopposed.

Alderman Daryl McMillian will face Antonio McGrew and Jeremy McKenzie in Ward 4.

Alderman Richard Akin is unopposed for the Ward 5 seat.

The members of the city’s Democratic executive committee will also be on the ballot. They are Pat Moreland, Anna Coates, Jeff Varas, Sandra Williams, and Patsy Bush.

The primary is set for Tuesday, May 5. Runoff elections will be held on May 19, if needed. The general election will be June 2.

These candidates filed qualifying papers by the deadline Friday, but they have not yet been approved by the Circuit Clerk’s office, according to City Clerk Sue Brown.


At last Tuesday’s regular board meeting, the Hazlehurst aldermen authorized the advertisement for bids on a generator for  the Shady Grove water well 5. The city has received a $33,000 grant to help with this expense.


Bertha Coleman asked the city to provide a building where food and clothing can be distributed to the needy. She said many people are making donations to organizations that distribute items in other areas. “People here need it,” Coleman said.

Organizations including the county Human Resources Agency and Bethesda Church operate food pantries locally.

The board took the matter under advisement for the mayor to look into it.


Aldermen approved Lydia Jones’s request to halt traffic on South Extension Street for 20 minutes May 16 while a wedding ceremony takes place.

James Mitchell was appointed to the zoning commission to fill a vacancy left by Ron Sims’s resignation.

Cleanup hearings were set for Marie Green and Dough McKinleny.

Alderman Shirley Sandifer read a letter from CMPDD advising the city to use caution in dealing with consulting firms which have been contacting government agencies offering assistance in dealing with the stimulus package. Federal funds will be available to existing agencies without outside assistance. A comprehensive summary of funds that will be offered to Hazlehurst will be available soon.

A beer permit was approved for Pravin Kumar Patel. Harry’s Gas Land is under new ownership.

The board approved the purchase of a phone recorder and phone system for the communications department from CDE, the lowest quote.

Sonya Benson’s salary was adjusted for achieving certification.

A 1994 Caprice was declared surplus police equipment.

Lease of a new copier was approved for the police department on a 4-1 vote with Alderman Richard Akin voting no. Akin expressed his concern over leasing equipment rather than purchasing it outright.

Ronnie Murray  and Barry Johnson were hired as police officers. Both will attend certification training, but another officer will be sent first, according to Chief Byron Swilley. The certification course is offered three times a year.

The attorney was authorized to negotiate for a site to drill a new water well. Aldermen expressed concern about the city’s wells being too close together and ultimately depleting the aquifer.

Possible litigation was discussed in closed session but no action taken.

Bill Riojas was hired part time in the fire department.

The board approved claims on a 4-1 vote with Alderman Frank Pickering voting no.

Hazlehurst aldermen regularly meet on the first Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. The meetings are open to the public.

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