The contest for the mayor’s seat in Walthourville is between incumbent Mayor Daisy Pray and challenger Carrie Anderson.
Anderson, 67, graduated from Liberty County High School and moved to New Jersey in 1970. She worked for the state of New Jersey and moved back to Walthourville in 2002 after retirement. Anderson has four children, two grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Anderson is running for mayor because she has some ideas she thinks will be good for residents. For example, she has always been interested in activities for children and wants to develop a recreation facility for youth. Anderson said the city has a facility but needs something for children between ages 10 and 17.
If elected mayor, Anderson said she needs the support of the community.
“I can do nothing without the citizens of Walthourville,” she said. “They have to be there to back me. I need the people in order do the things that will benefit the people of Walthourville.”
An issue that Anderson would like to address is the city’s water bills. She understands that Walthourville will accumulate bills but has ideas that if elected she would like to share with the residents to reduce the city’s cost.
Anderson said that she is neither against nor for the Special Purpose Local Options Sales Tax, a 1 percent sales tax Liberty County residents rejected last year, because she has not seen how SPLOST has benefitted Walthourville. She has seen the results of SPLOST funds in other cities, but not in Walthourville.
Anderson doesn’t want to be compared to her mother, former Walthourville mayor Carrie Kent Brown.
“I was not living here during the times when my mother was in office. I’m only bringing my ideas,” Anderson said. “If there’s something that I can do for the citizens, then I’ll do it by the grace of God. I can’t do it without God, and I totally depend on God. I also love the citizens of Walthourville.”
Pray, 63, is a lifelong resident of Walthourville. She is married to Nathaniel Pray and has two children and four grandchildren. Pray graduated from Liberty County High School and attended Armstrong State University. In December 2011, Pray retired from JAG Corps as a staff judge advocate on Fort Stewart. After retiring, she focused on serving as mayor of Walthourville and is currently in her second term. Pray said the position of mayor is a part-time job, but she treats it as full-time.
Pray is seeking re-election because she wants to see progress continue.
“I’ve been encouraged by the progress the council and I have made over the last four years,” she said in a written statement to the Coastal Courier. “We are at a pivotal point in our growth that I would like to remain as mayor to see a number of projects come to fruition.”
If re-elected, Pray said, she would like to work to bring the Liberty Transit bus system to Walthourville. She wants to bring in more jobs, businesses and activities to engage youth and address the needs of senior citizens.
Pray said she supports SPLOST if all the cities in Liberty County receive an equal share of the funds for projects.
Some of the projects completed during her time as mayor that she cited include a citywide sewer system, two new businesses and a new subdivision called Hampton Ridge. She said the city has purchased property on Carter Road for a future multipurpose building for youth and senior citizens.
“When our city’s citizens voiced that they wanted a pavilion at Johnnie Frasier, we constructed a pavilion…,” Pray wrote. “I am a mayor for the people and of the people, my administration has operated a transparent government and I am available for all citizens, I have an open door policy.”