HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- The candidates seeking the Huntsville City Council District 4 seat include a longtime incumbent, a local political stalwart and a candidate who hopes voters are looking for a new voice.
Incumbent Bill Kling has served on the city council since his first election win in 1988. His challengers include Jackie Reed, who has also run for mayor on more than one occasion and Jacob Anders, who is proposing term limits for city council members.
The candidates spoke to WHNT News 19 on the issues, including voter trust, roads and the value of hearing from the public on a regular basis.
The Huntsville City Council's District 4 candidates say they bring something new and significant to the table.
Reed said the people’s business should be spelled out.
“We don't have work sessions anymore,” she said. “We don't have budget hearings anymore. I'd like for the public to know what's going on, on the agendas before they (the city council) vote. Don't just read it off and vote right quick.”
Anders wants people to have a voice and for the city council to hear it on a regular basis.
“Get the voter ballot initiative, that way if we get either 5 to 10 percent of registered Huntsville voters to sign onto a petition, that way we can get it on the City of Huntsville's agenda and bypass Mayor Battle. And then you'll have the city councilman vote on it."
Incumbent Kling also wants to bring change by improving traffic flow in the city.
“I've got my marching orders and we really, really need to be aggressively hitting on traffic congestion in the city of Huntsville,” he said.
WHNT News 19 asked each candidate why he or she is best suited to represent the district.
“I work for the people,” Reed said. “I work for the employees and they know that.”
Anders said the race is about more than his candidacy.
“I'm the only candidate that's advocating for term limits,” he said.
Kling said he’s accountable to the people.
“I have monthly town meetings on the third Monday of each month, open for anyone that wants to come to it,” Kling said. “I've consistently pushed, and five times I've been able to get the budget amended where two-thirds of the road resurfacing money goes into neighborhood streets.”
Anders told WHNT News 19 he’s knocked on nearly every door in District 4, meeting hoped-for voters.
Kling and Reed said they've put in the work as well.
“I'm the hardest working candidate in my race,” Kling said. “I've been doing 5, 6, 7 hours of door-to-door campaigning.”
Reed said she’s been out among the people for decades, doing her best for them.
“I’ve been going 30 years, fighting many battles, listening and watching them and I feel like I've got hands-on experience of going so many times.”