Introduced as the “self-proclaimed loudest woman in Albany,” mayoral candidate B. J. Fletcher calmly laid out her philosophy for governing the city for members of the Kiwanis Club of Dougherty County on July 18.
Fletcher is running on her record of business success and civic involvement, first as manager of Ole Times Country Buffet and more recently with business ventures Café 230, Downtown General Store, and the Fresh Market, which have brought revitalized commerce and new jobs to the central business district.
“I am proud that I have been a big part of bringing success to a lot of people in this community,” she said of her employees and commercial efforts.
Fletcher noted that “I am very conservative in a lot of my ways,” particularly with finances. If elected, she promised, “I will protect your checkbook the same way I protect mine.”
Fletcher also promised, “My mayor’s door will always be open” for communication with constituents.
Bringing more jobs to Albany is a priority, Fletcher said. She urged citizens to put aside the past and the losses of major employers like Cooper Tire, Merck, and Bob’s Candies.
“We’ve got to get over what we’ve lost,” she emphasized. “We’ve got to move forward.” Jobs, she added, help create safety and stability. Added jobs would mean young people who grow up here will be able to stay for work and those who have moved away will be able to come back.
Fletcher encouraged residents to come downtown and see what all is going on. “We’ve got to change the perspective on Albany,” she said, but also added a caveat: “We need many things but we have to take one step at a time” and make improvements as they can be financially afforded.
The entrepreneur reminded her listeners that the election is not just about Albany. A better city also means a better county, she said.
Fletcher urged voters to help with city government by paying attention to their elected repre-sentatives to ensure they are doing the job on council that they should be doing.
Finally, she said, “I need your help. I need your prayers.”
Fletcher is, at present, vying in a four-way race to succeed Mayor Willie Adams, who has said he will not run for re-election. Also announced as candidates are city commissioner Dorothy Hubbard, former state legislator John White, and local businessman Kirk Smith. Whoever wins the election will succeed Adams when his term ends in December.
Local business leader B.J. Fletcher lays out her mayoral campaign platform for Kiwanis Club of Dougherty members on July 18.