UNION — Improving the appearance and addressing the infrastructure needs of the City of Union are the goals of Union City Council District 1 candidate Tommy Anthony.
A Union native and Union High School graduate who attended Gardner-Webb University, Anthony recently retired from the City of Union Utility Department after 28 years. During his time with the utility department, Anthony handled purchasing and receiving equipment parts for its power, gas, water, and sewer divisions; ran its warehouse on Calhoun Street; operated the SCADA computer system and the generator plant; and handled any other duties he was asked to perform.
Anthony and his wife, Donna, have two children and four grandchildren. He is a member of Tabernacle Baptist Church.
Anthony, who is making his first bid for public office, said that he feels his 28 years with the utility department will help him not only address the needs of that department, but also the needs of the city as a whole.
“I feel that my experience and being involved with the utilities would help me have a better understanding of how to help improve our city,” Anthony said. “As a member of council I will work to help out with the utility department and keep it on a sound financial footing.”
In addition to working to help the utility department continue to deliver service to its customers in an efficient and cost-effective manner and continue to play its role in promoting economic development, Anthony said he would also focus on making the city more attractive. He said in order to make the community more attractive to both new business and new residents, the city must improve its appearance by demolishing dilapidated and abandoned buildings.
“I’d like to see Union grow and prosper, but I think we’ve got to clean up first,” Anthony said. “There are too many dilapidated houses and buildings that are unattractive to everyone, but especially to any prospects on living or bringing a business here.
“Union is called the ‘City of Hospitality,’” he said. “While we have great and helpful people who live here, we need to work on the appearance.”
Anthony added that while the city should pursue clean up efforts in general, it should especially focus on its entrance ways which provide the first impression prospective businesses and/or residents get of Union.
Maintaining and improving Union’s infrastructure including its utilities and its sidewalks and streets will be another priority for Anthony who said he would bring his experience with the utility department to bear on those issues.
Anthony said that his underlying goal in addressing these and other issues is to help the people of Union and to help the city grow and develop.
“I want to work with the people in general to see if I can help in any way,” Anthony said. “I want to do anything I can to improve Union. I’ve been here all my life and I want the best for Union.”
The Union City Council District 1 seat will be on the Nov. 4 general election ballot.
Also running for the seat are Tommy Hill (incumbent), Don Shetley, and Tyra Lindsey Parham.