In the hustle and bustle of another election cycle, life is a beach for the mayors of Orange Beach and Gulf Shores.
No one challenged Tony Kennon, “It’s a relief. Elections are just not fun. I’m very appreciative and humbled by it,” nor Robert Craft, “It could be nobody wants this job. It’s not a very high paying job. It’s part-time pay but full-time and there are a lot of expectations.”
Both cities share some of the same challenges. “The two things we talk about just about every day is our schools and our traffic,” says Craft. “The big goal is always going to be traffic and dealing with numbers,” adds Kennon.
The widening of Canal Road will help ease some of the congestion. Talks are also underway about adding another span to the bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway.
In Gulf Shores, a multi-year initiative has begun that will eventually revamp the public beach area and diversify the economy.
This will be the third term for both mayors and could be the last. “I hope I don’t do this again,” says Craft. “I don’t plan to. I think in four years, 12 years in this chair, 16 years on the council, will probably be all I can give.”
“I want to be your mayor but I don’t need to be mayor,” says Kennon. “My life doesn’t revolve around being mayor. I’m doing it because I’m hoping I can serve you and give back and the minute you don’t want me, then I understand and I’ll move on and do something else.”
Only one seat on the Gulf Shores city council will be up for grabs later this month. Incumbent Carolyn Doughty did not run for re-election. Kevin Corcoran and Gary Sinak are running for her vacant seat.