12/24/2012 6:00:00 AM Two aldermen to run for Mayor
By DEBBIE BURT MYERS
Two aldermen have announced their intentions to run as Republican candidates for Mayor of Philadelphia in the May municipal party primaries.
Incumbent Democratic Mayor James A. Young is seeking a second term.
The municipal party primaries will be May 7, followed by runoffs on May 21 if needed. The general election is June 4.
Ward 2 Alderman Roy White and Ward 3 Alderman Joe Tullos have confirmed their candidacies for mayor in the Republican Primary.
In addition, Philadelphia businessman Wright Griffis has announced that he would be a candidate for Ward 2 alderman in the Republican Primary.
White, who is completing his sixth term as alderman, said his number one goal as Mayor would be to get the city "back on track" financially and move forward on economic development issues.
White, who owns Roy White Construction, said fully funding the city's major departments - police, fire, street, sanitation and cemetery - would be a top priority if he were elected mayor.
"When the economy was better, we had some money to do some things," White said. "We haven't paved streets in several years. We've got to get back to the main basics. There are lots of hurdles to overcome. I think we can make it but we've just got to pull together and make it happen."
Tullos, who is completing his fourth term as alderman, said jobs creation would be his priority as mayor.
"We've got to create jobs and we've got to recoup some business that we are losing," said Tullos, a salesman at Marshall Ford in Union.
"We are bleeding, leaking as the charrette said. We are losing sit down dining because we go out of town to have a nice meal. I think with a referendum on the alcohol measure, when people have spoken, it will allow the city to recruit more business."
Creating jobs and retaining the ones we have would be his goal as mayor, said Tullos, who along with his wife, has operated a clothing store and a nursery in the past. They also have rental properties.
"I have been in commission sales for 16 years," Tullos said. "I think I can bring a business-minded approach to the city."
If re-elected, Young said his goal would be to continue building relationships with companies and groups to bring jobs to the area.
"I believe I've been a good mayor," he said. "I think I have been inclusive to everyone in our community. I think the doors to this office have been open to ideas and suggestions from business entities and lay citizens in the community. My goal has always been to make Philadelphia the greatest city in the state of Mississippi. "
Young said he has accomplished many of his goals during his first term as mayor.
"I promised, one, to be honest and lead with integrity," he said. "I've done that. I promised to work hard to make our city cleaner and more attractive. That's taken place. I promised I was going to work hard to get industry in. That is in process. It hasn't come as soon as I wanted it to but we are still working with entities that are going to bring industry to our area."
Young said his goal for a second term would be to get people back to work.
"That drives everything that supports this community," he said. "If men and women are working there is buying and selling and new sales tax. The key to our survival is putting people back to work. "
Griffis, service manager at Griffis Motors Inc., said if he were elected alderman of Ward 2 his two goals would be to balance the budget and create jobs.
"Philadelphia city government needs to return to a balanced budget approach where we only spend equal to what revenue is produced," Griffis said. "I do believe though that protecting and maintaining Philadelphia are our top priorities.
"Our citizens deserve the benefits of a good paying job. I believe in our workforce and their abilities and I believe we owe them a chance at building a better future though a job opportunity."
Griffis cited his business background.
"I believe that running a successful city government requires a successful business background," he said. "My experience at Griffis Chrysler Dodge Jeep has helped define the sound character and choices that made our family owned business prosper and will be instrumental in guiding the city back to fiscal responsibility.
"I also believe that my serving on the Chamber of Commerce board, Community Development Partnership board, Boys & Girls Club board, Philadelphia Coalition, Neshoba Long Range Planning board, Neshoba County Republican Executive Com-mittee, and being a 2010 graduate of the Mississippi Economic Council's Distinguished Leader-ship Mississippi program have been the foundation builders to qualify me to serve as the next Philadelphia Ward 2 alderman."
Candidates have until Friday, March 8 to qualify as candidates in the municipal election.