On Thursday, August 16th at Valley National Bank's Highway 280 branch in Alexander City, the Lake Martin Young Professionals hosted the second event in its Access to the Issues series. The series is designed to update the YP membership and other members of the community on important issues and topics. With 2018 hosting many important statewide elections, we decided to invite candidates running to represent Alexander City and District 81 to take part in a town hall forum. Candidates Jeremy "JJ" Jeffcoat and Ed Oliver introduced themselves to the audience and answered questions on a variety of topics including education, healthcare, infrastructure, economic development, workforce, criminal justice and prison reform, ethics and corruption, agriculture and others.
For more information on the candidates, visit the links below:
**Ed Oliver for State Representative Facebook page**
**Jeremy Jeffcoat for State Representative website**
View the entire video of the town hall forum below:
Access to the Issues is presented by Engineered Cooling Services
Access to the Issues' quarterly sponsor is
T.C. Coley - Tallapoosa County Commissioner (District 1)
The Lake Martin Young Professionals organization will host its second Access to the Issues event with a Town Hall Forum for the candidates running to represent Alexander City and District 81 in the Alabama House of Representatives. Democrat candidate Jeremy Jeffcoat and Republican candidate Ed Oliver will take part in the event scheduled for Thursday, August 16th at 5:30 pm at Valley National Bank’s Highway 280 branch in Alexander City.
The forum will give each candidate a chance to share with the audience the ideas and vision they intend to take to Montgomery in an effort to help advance the priorities of District 81 and the state of Alabama. The format will include five minutes for each person to deliver prepared opening statements followed by a 60-to-75-minute period of moderated questions that each candidate will have 3 minutes to respond to. Local residents can also get involved by submitting suggestions for questions in advance by emailing email@example.com, and attendees will have the opportunity to drop questions at the door when they arrive. Those questions will be screened and included at the end followed by the candidates delivering closing remarks.
“We held a forum for Alexander City Mayoral candidates back in 2016 and gathered input and questions from the audience in a similar way for that event,” said LMYP’s Jacob Meacham. “Doing that allows us to filter through the submitted questions to ensure everything remains appropriate and adds to the forum in a positive way.”
Oliver and Jeffcoat are both excited for the opportunity. They believe forums like this give voters a good chance to understand their platforms and see their differences.
“I appreciate having another opportunity to share my conservative Republican point of view with the voters of District 81,” said Oliver. “I'm looking forward to talking about where we've been and where we're going. This forum will let the voters see the difference in Republican and Democrat representation in the Alabama House.”
“I am looking forward to a spirited discussion on August 16th,” added Jeffcoat. “The people of District 81 deserve a chance to hear ideas from candidates on moving our area and our state forward before making their decision in November. The Lake Martin Young Professionals are performing a great service to the people of District 81, and I encourage all voters to attend and become better informed.”
In an effort to gather the most current perspective, input was sought from outgoing District 81 Representative Mark Tuggle, who served two terms in the seat from 2010-2018.
“We had a great meeting with Representative Tuggle recently in order to get a better understanding of what these candidates might be faced with when they arrive in Montgomery,” said Meacham. “He was very gracious with his time and helped layout the issues that could be on the table in upcoming legislative sessions. His input should help us direct the forum in a way that helps voters understand the type of representation they’ll receive from Mr. Oliver or Mr. Jeffcoat.”
With both of candidates running to replace Tuggle being new to politics, the forum will provide voters a valuable learning opportunity and highlight their views on the major issues facing District 81 and the state. Those issues include infrastructure, prison/criminal justice reform, education, economic and workforce development, healthcare and others.
“Since Representative Tuggle is not seeking reelection, voters won’t have the chance to weigh each candidate’s credentials based on any recent political experience,” said Meacham. “Hosting an event like this gives those voters the chance to hear from the candidates directly and see how they plan to address the issues facing our district and the entire state.”
The forum is open to the public. Doors will open at 5:30 with candidates delivering opening remarks starting at 6 pm. Questions regarding the event should be directed to Jacob Meacham at the Alexander City Chamber of Commerce by calling (256) 234-3461 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
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RAINY DAY BACKUP PLAN SET FOR OCIE & BELLE'S
The Lake Martin Young Professionals’ spring-and-summer live music series, Strand Sessions, will welcome its final act of 2018 to Strand Park on Thursday, August 2nd with Bailey Ingle taking the stage from 6-9 pm.
A native of Hoover, AL, Ingle is a singer/songwriter known for her bluesy, soulful voice and charismatic stage presence. In 2014, Bailey was chosen by Keith Urban to sing “We Were Us,” a duet originally performed by him and Miranda Lambert. She shared the stage with Urban at Oak Mountain Amphitheater in front of more than 10,000 fans. Following this performance, her recognition and fan base grew, having since performed all over the Southeastern United States and as far west as California. She has also been featured in many local publications, magazines and newspapers and has had multiple performances aired on local television and radio.
“We’re excited to welcome Bailey Ingle to Strand Park to close out Strand Sessions on Thursday, August 2nd,” said the Alexander City Chamber of Commerce’s Jacob Meacham. “She puts the finishing touches on another successful season of live music in downtown Alex City for everyone in our community to enjoy. We’ve had some really good crowds welcome the artists and bands that have taken the stage this spring and summer, and five months of free live music wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of the businesses that sponsor Strand Sessions and make it possible.”
Those businesses include Dark Insurance Agency as the series’ Gold Sponsor, along with Alex City Marine, Bice Motors, Distinct Home Inspection and Mason Law Firm as Silver Sponsors.
The series kicked off in April with singer/songwriter Jack Stearns then welcomed Taylor Hunnicut and Daniel Raine in May. June saw a special appearance from local favorite and up-and-coming country star Kyle Wilson when he sat in with Big Sexy & The Twins for a crowd-pleasing performance. Montgomery-based jam band The Talismen performed in July, returning to Alexander City after first playing Strand Park during 2017’s Sun Festival Band Battle.
“All in all, we’re very happy with the way the events have turned out,” said Meacham. “We really appreciate the support of the sponsors that make it possible and also the attendance of everyone that takes time to come out, support the artists and enjoy the company of community friends out in Strand Park.”