With Baldwin County municipal elections approaching in August, mayors in the Eastern Shore’s three municipalities say they have unfinished business to tend to in another four-year term.
Daphne Mayor Dane Haygood, Fairhope Mayor Tim Kant and Spanish Fort Mayor Mike McMillan say they deserve to be re-elected in the upcoming municipal election on Aug. 23. None have received formal challenges to their candidacies yet, but potential opponents have until July 19 to qualify. The last day to register to vote in the Aug. 23 municipal election is Aug. 10.
Although he has been in office since 2013, this will be Haygood’s first run for the position. After winning the race for the District 7 seat on the Daphne City Council in 2012, Haygood was appointed mayor in early 2013 following the untimely death of then-mayor Bailey Yelding.
“I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to be mayor of this great city,” Haygood said. “I look around and see a lot of unfinished business that I would like to see all the way through.”
In his March campaign finance report Haygood listed $6,186.91 in contributions from six sources, including a cash donation of $686.91 to himself.
“I didn’t expect to get started this soon, but the checks started rolling in and I had a lot of people encouraging me to run again,” Haygood said. “We have formed a campaign committee and I’m excited about moving forward.”
Haygood said he hopes Daphne voters will give him the chance for another four years in office, where he wants to finish extending sewer service to everyone in the city and oversee the completion of citywide recreation upgrades. He also said there are philosophical issues he would like to tackle in a second term, citing municipal efficiency and institutional organization as areas where he believes the city can improve.
The Eastern Shore’s longest-tenured mayor, Fairhope’s Tim Kant, will seek his fifth term as mayor after initially taking office on Oct. 2, 2000. Kant has worked for the city of Fairhope for more than 30 years after being hired as the city’s first full-time horticulturist in 1983. Kant also serves as the city’s utilities supervisor and is a member of the Fairhope Planning Commission.
“I just really enjoy working for such a great city,” Kant said. “This has been a wonderful opportunity and I have been honored to be part of such a unique city. I want to be able to continue on the path we’ve taken, which I think has been good for the city.”
Kant listed parks and recreation upgrades and improvements to Fairhope City Hall and the Fairhope Civic Center as issues he would like the city to tackle if he wins re-election.
“We need to work to make sure that our parklands to the north and south of the city are accessible to all of our residents,” Kant said. “We also need to develop a long-term plan for City Hall and the Civic Center.
We’ve outgrown both and they have become ongoing maintenance problems.”
The mayor called a performing arts center in town a “dream” that he would like to see fulfilled in another term.
In his March campaign finance report Kant reported $41,921.64 in contributions, the majority of which came from 87 contributors during his initial campaign kickoff last fall. Kant plans to officially announce his campaign in May.
In neighboring Spanish Fort, Mayor Mike McMillan will seek a second term after first being elected mayor in 2012. Previously, McMillan served as a city councilman beginning in 2004 and has been a member of the Spanish Fort Planning and Zoning Commission.
“There are a lot of things going on in the city that I want to be around to see completed,” McMillan said. “I think the city is on the right path, with a fiscally conservative mindset, and I think we need to keep going that way.”
McMillan said the development of a sports complex on 26.2 acres of land on Jimmy Faulkner Boulevard is one of the projects he wants to see move forward in a second term.
In January, the city approved a $5 million loan earmarked for the construction and development of the complex, which will be repaid over five years at a 1.047 percent interest rate. McMillan said the city included $1 million for loan repayment in its 2016 fiscal year budget.
The first phase of development will include two fields that can be used for football and soccer. A second phase could see the development of additional baseball and softball fields.
McMillan has yet to file a campaign finance report. According to state law, there is no limitation on the amount an individual or corporation may donate to a municipal office campaign, but candidates must file monthly disclosure reports in accordance with the Fair Campaign Practices Act.
McMillan said candidates are not required to file an FCPA report until they first receive more than $1,000 in contributions, which he said he has not done.