ALBERTA – Robert W. Hayes, Sr. is running for the Mayor of Alberta bringing 7 years of experience on the Alberta Town Council and 3 years as Mayor of Alberta to the position. He said people contacted him about running for Mayor and he felt honored to be asked.
Hayes said bringing jobs to the town would be a top priority.
“Economic development has got to be a top priority for the Town of Alberta. I served on the Alberta Town Council when we worked for the Town of Lawrenceville to take over the water/wastewater systems, which I believe was the right thing to do,” Hayes said.
Hayes said working with the Town of Lawrenceville on the water/wastewater project was a regional effort and a great opportunity for the Alberta. He wanted to give praise to former Mayor of Alberta Melissa Parrish for her vision, hard work and dedication.
“I have to give Mayor Parrish credit for her vision and leadership. Working regionally allowed us to provide water/sewer to the Meherrin River Regional Jail and enhanced capacity for the Alberta Volunteer Fire Department’s needs,” Hayes said. “The Meherrin River Regional Jail brings so many employees to Alberta and we know that people tend to spend money where they work.”
Hayes said if elected he would work to change the time the Alberta Town Council meets in order to accommodate the citizens. The Alberta Town Council meets the second Monday of the month at 5:30 p.m.
“What working citizen can attend a meeting held at 5:30 p.m.? Many folks in Alberta work outside of the town and don’t even get off until around 5 p.m. The town council is meeting when it suits them, not when it be best for the public,” Hayes said. “Community support would increase if the meetings were held later.”
Hayes said if meeting at night is an issue, plans can be arranged to pick a council member up calling attention to when Councilman Mabry was unable to drive at night and council helped him.
“Mr. Mabry needed a ride because he didn’t drive at night and we helped him. I am sure members of council would help again,” Hayes said.
Hayes said the town council didn’t have a budget in place by July 1, 2022 and held the public hearing on the proposed budget at 5 p.m., even earlier than the regular meeting time. He said salary increases were not approved that were in the budget.
Hayes thanked Clerk Savannah Hall for her help with getting a grant for the Alberta Volunteer Fire Department.
Hayes said council members should be provided their packet for the meeting before sitting down at the meeting.
“How can you approve something if you have just received it to review it? The packets should be delivered earlier,” Hayes said.
Hayes supports efforts to make improvements to the old Alberta Volunteer Fire Department building located next to the Alberta Town Office but he wants to see the money spent wisely.
Hayes has been a member of the Alberta Volunteer Fire Department for 38 years and currently serves as Deputy Fire Chief. He encourages people to volunteer, especially young people.
“The department has responded to 835 calls so far this year. We have an increasing number of older citizens in Alberta and we are glad to offer assistance,” Hayes said.
Hayes and his wife, Suzanne Hayes, have a daughter Brooke White and a son Bert Hayes, Jr. and 3 grandchildren.