Shortly after the May 3rd primary for the upcoming city election, each candidate in contested races on the June 6th New Albany general election ballot received an identical questionnaire from NAnewsweb.com. Each was asked to answer four questions. These are the responses in the candidates’ own words. The responses being posted today are the ones of the two candidates for First Ward Alderman. Those for Alderman at Large and Mayor will be posted during the next two days.
- What would you like our readers to know about your family, your residency in New Albany and your education?
- Would you tell us about the career you have pursued to earn a living?
- Why are you running for the office you seek, and, if elected, what do you hope to achieve during your four-year term of service?
- What do you believe are the top challenges New Albany faces in the future?
What would you like our readers to know about your family, your residency in New Albany, and your education.
I’m a native of New Albany, graduate of New Albany (W.P. Daniel) High School and The University of Mississippi (BBA, Marketing). After graduating college, my career took me away from New Albany for 12 years. I am married to Pam Conlee (30 years). We have two daughters, Lauren Conlee and Anna Brooke Conlee. My family and I moved back to New Albany in 1999. My parents are Glenda Provence Conlee and Joe Conlee. Clint Conlee is my brother.
Pam and I have been members of First United Methodist Church since our return to New Albany.
I currently serve on the New Albany Planning and Zoning Commission and I am the President of the Dean Provence Endowment for Excellence in Education Board. For several years, I served as a coach and volunteer in the New Albany Park Commission baseball/softball leagues. My first job at 15 years old was at the NA Park Commission mowing and cleaning during the day and umpiring, keeping books, and working the concession stand at night. I am a big supporter of New Albany High School Athletics, currently serving as a member of the New Albany Football Radio Staff.
Tell us about the career you have pursued to earn a living.
I have been employed with McKesson Corporation, a national healthcare company, for 26 years. I have been in sales and management during my time with McKesson. I am a member of President’s club as one of the company’s top performers. My primary responsibility with McKesson has been working with independent pharmacies throughout the Southeast. This has provided me the opportunity to understand the needs of small business in America. The relationships I have built over the last 26 years have given me the opportunity to contribute to the successful growth of many pharmacy businesses throughout the southeastern United States.
Why are you running for the office you seek and, if elected, what do you hope to achieve during your four-year term of service?
I am running for alderman because I love what New Albany has become and I am excited about what I think is a bright future for the city.
My career choice has given me the opportunity to move to different places, but none better than my hometown of New Albany. I would love the opportunity to represent my friends, neighbors and all New Albanians on the decisions that will impact our community now and for years to come. I love when I travel around the state of Mississippi and I tell people I am from New Albany; their reaction is always positive to the great things we have going on. We must constantly focus on doing great things for the citizens of New Albany and continue preparing for the coming growth and change in our great city.
I would like to see our board do the best job possible in planning for the future. I would like us to discuss the possibility of a city planner or contract with consulting firm/person to serve these needs. I think this would provide a more consistent look to the future of our streets, water supply, electricity, traffic flow, beautification, grant requesting opportunities, etc. In my conversations with our citizens during this campaign, our infrastructure is a major concern.
We must capitalize on our assets. We have Interstate 22 and Highway 15 running through our town. These transportation arteries provide us with thousands of people coming through our community daily. We are known all over the state of Mississippi for the great businesses and activities we have in our downtown; we must continue to invest in this asset. Our sports complex was once one of the tops in the state of Mississippi; with the addition of the tennis complex we have a great opportunity. We need to recommit to utilizing this asset to bring baseball, softball, soccer and tennis tournaments to our city. The people participating in these events will bring opportunities for additional revenue for our local businesses. The Tanglefoot Trail is a major attraction to people from all over the United States. We need to make our town a cycle friendly community by giving the bikers easy access to the trail from our hotels and giving them accommodations before and after their utilization of the trail. Our greatest asset is our people. We have so many people that are so passionate about making New Albany the best it can be. In my opinion, we need to bring all our community organizations together and pull in the same direction. We need transparency, organization and leadership from our city government.
What do you believe are the top challenges New Albany faces in the future?
I believe the greatest challenge for our town, like most small towns in Mississippi, is figuring out the revenue streams to pay for the things our citizens need to have the quality of life they expect. Most everyone I have talked with during this campaign would like solutions to our water quality, and would like to have our streets maintained at a higher quality and want to know about economic development opportunities. All these things require funding to achieve.
Preparing for the future is another challenge. New Albany is going to grow and we need to do the things now in preparation for 5 years, 10 years and 20 years down the road. Where do we grow with new housing developments in the city limits? How do we manage traffic flow as the number of vehicles in our community continues to grow? How do we get more of our young people involved in community development?
Mayoral candidates’ posts will follow.
To read posts of other candidates in contested races: