Akins joins council racePublished 1:15am Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Atmore resident Gregg Akins announced this week he will join the ranks of those vying for Atmore City Council seats. Akins will join Chris Harrison in the hunt for the District 5 seat currently held by 2012 mayoral candidate Jim Staff.
Akins, owner and operator of Gregg’s Salon, is a graduate of J.U. Blacksher High School in Uriah. He also attended Jefferson Davis Community College in Brewton and Charles Academy of Beauty in Mobile.
Akins has served on the Atmore Area Chamber of Commerce Board, as well as United Bank’s Escambia County Advisory Board. Akins has also been heavily involved in Atmore’s Relay for Life events and has volunteered at Atmore Nursing Center, cutting hair free of charge. He is a member of St. Robert Bellarmine Catholic Church, where he has served on the Parish Council, including a year as chairman. He currently serves as the church’s co-choir director.
Akins said he believes his background in business will serve the residents of District 5 well during the current tough economy.
“Like many residents of Atmore, through the years, I have encountered difficulty in my professional life,” Akins said. “I have triumphed over the rough times and have made it through this recession by budgeting wisely and spending frugally. I would do the same with city finances if elected. I have four employees at my salon on Trammell Street. I must make sure they earn a living and that they have the necessary supplies and equipment to work with, as well as a safe and wholesome working environment. I am confident that as someone who has been a local resident and a successful Atmore businessman for several decades, I have business knowledge that makes me at least equally as qualified as my opponents who have announced their candidacy for the District 5 seat.”
With many of the city’s veteran leaders stepping down in 2012, Akins said it is important Atmore residents think closely about the new group of young councilpersons who may fill those important voids.
“This city election is extremely important,” Akins said. “Like America, Atmore is at a crucial crossroad. Not only are we in a time of economic peril, Atmore could lose much of its ‘corporate knowledge’ in this election. What I mean by this is Atmore’s long serving mayor is not running for reelection. Two of the men running for mayor have never served on the city council. We also have two council seats that will be filled with other than incumbents. Whether you are pro or con on the current administration, consider this: At one of the most critical times in our city’s history, the citizens of Atmore need to elect people to our city government that will move us in a positive direction of inclusive growth.”
Akins gave a brief glimpse into how he would approach some of Atmore’s most key issues if elected.
“I firmly believe that we need our city to grow and prosper so that our children, after receiving higher education or job training, can come back to Atmore and not have to move to other areas to find jobs. It seems to me that Atmore’s growth is primarily tied to the Poarch Band of Creek Indians and also to Rivercane.”
Akins also voiced his support of the Rivercane project, as well as his concern over the current legal battle between the Poarch Band of Creek Indians and the Escambia County Commission.
“The city showed foresight in purchasing and annexing the acreage on Highway 21 years before most residents understood that one day the area would be filled with retail businesses and restaurants – all of which would generate tax revenue for our city,” he said. “Rivercane is just starting to take off. It will be far more successful if Windcreek Casino and Hotel remain open. I adamantly applaud and support the positions of Mayor Howard Shell and Escambia County Commissioner Brandon Smith as they stand firmly behind the Porch Band of Creek Indians on the issue of county taxation. I am happy that PCI Gaming donates the money that they do to Atmore schools, the Atmore Animal shelter, and other donations that I may not be aware of. They are good friends and I appreciate their support for Atmore and the surrounding areas.”
Akins also made a pledge to the residents of District 5, should he be elected in August.
“If elected, I will aggressively seek knowledge of how to best to grow our city,” he said. “I will serve in a way that actively includes every one. Of course, I pledge to vote responsibly and to represent District 5 constituents to the best of my ability.”