By Morgan Bryce/Assistant Communications Director
Following a two-week qualifying period, nine individuals have qualified to run and will appear on the ballot in the City of Smiths Station’s August 25th municipal election.
Below is a list of the candidates, position they are running for, short biography and contact information.
Mayor – F.L. “Bubba” Copeland (unopposed)
Bio – Copeland has called the Smiths Station area his home for most of his life. He attended Smiths Station High School and holds a degree in hotel and restaurant management from Auburn University. He served on the Lee County Board of Education for 11 years before becoming Mayor in 2016. In addition to serving as Mayor, Copeland owns and operates The Country Market in Salem and pastors at First Baptist Church of Phenix City.
“The qualifying period for Smiths Station’s municipal election on August 25th just ended, and I will have no opposition in my bid for a second term as Mayor. I cannot tell you how humbled and grateful I am for this opportunity. I am making a promise to our Citizens to work even harder the next four years than I did during my first four in office to make our City the best little city to work, live and play in Alabama.”
Contact information – https://www.facebook.com/bubbacopelandmayor/
Place 1 – George Stringer
Bio – Stringer was born and raised in Smiths Station and is a graduate of Wacoochee High School. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in education from Alabama State University, Stringer taught in Russell County then returned to Smiths Station, becoming the high school’s first African American educator, spending 27 years at the school before his retirement in 1996. He is one of the original Smiths Station City Council members.
“Knowledge is the key, and I am committed to education and helping promote the best quality of life for every resident in the community. I want to continue helping the growth that we’ve started.”
Contact information – 706-573-3664
Place 2 – Morris Jackson (Unopposed)
Bio – Jackson has called Smiths Station home for most of his life. A graduate of Wacoochee High School, he went on to serve for four years in the U.S. Army, including a one-year deployment to Vietnam. He went on to work for 42 years with Georgia Power and retired from the company in 2008. Jackson was heavily involved in Smiths Station’s incorporation efforts and is one of the original Smiths Station City Council members.
“Recent accomplishments as a council member that I’m proud of include pushing for the addition of nighttime lighting around the City, Love’s coming and opening here, serving as the Vice Chair of our Road Name Change Committee and helping with developments on the Smiths Station Government Center Campus, including the storm shelter that will be constructed here later this year. I enjoy working with the Mayor and the City Council that we have and am proud of all the accomplishments we have made during the last four years.”
Contact information – 706-905-1247
Place 3 – Kamarcus Adkins, Steve Lansdon and William Spear
Adkins – Born in Opelika, Adkins graduated from Russell County High School and attended Southern Union State Community College. He has more than two decades of experience in food services at the managerial level and mentoring children and young adults, and has previously volunteered with several local, state, and national political campaigns.
“I want to join a continuously growing city and be able to help mold young people outside of sports. I want to give them ‘opportunities’ and hope to help bring in programs that will allow our city to continue to grow.”
Contact information: 334-740-1977, email@example.com
Lansdon – A lifelong Smiths Station resident, Lansdon is a Troy University graduate. He worked for 37 years with Southeast Freight Lines Trucking Company, retiring from there as the Regional Fleet Service Manager. Lansdon now works on a part-time basis for Penske Truck Rental and enjoys spending time with his wife Susan of 47 years and family.
“My goals if elected are to bring additional businesses to the area and work with the citizens, Mayor and City Council to keep Smiths Station among the forefront of small cities in Alabama.”
Contact information – firstname.lastname@example.org
Spear – A lifelong Smiths Station resident, Spear worked as a forester for the Georgia Pacific Corporation for 41 years. He now works as a school bus driver for the Lee County Board of Education and as a substitute teacher. Spear has previously served on the Lee County Juvenile Conference Committee, Smiths Station Zoning Board of Adjustment and is currently a member of the Smiths Station Planning Commission.
“I am running for office in the Smiths Station city government to help continue the progressive growth of our city.”
Contact information – email@example.com
Place 4 – Richard Cooley (Unopposed)
Bio – Cooley has called Smiths Station home for more than 60 years and is a 1965 graduate of Smiths Station High School. He later joined the U.S. Air Force and served a tour in Vietnam. With degrees from Auburn and Troy universities, Cooley spent 27 years in education, working as a teacher, assistant principal, and principal. He was one of the leaders of Smiths Station’s incorporation efforts and has served on the Smiths Station City Council since 2004.
“Over the past four years, we have made tremendous strides in moving our City forward, including but not limited to the location of a Love’s Travel Stop within our City limits. We are also in the early stages of establishing a Public Works Department to provide better maintenance for our roads and highways. Additionally, we are in the process of renaming our streets to names and moving away from the Lee Road designations for general population use and clarity.”
Contact information – 706-575-0642
Place 5 – Victoria Green and Diane Holman-Stein
Green – Born and raised in Phenix City, Green graduated from Central High School and hold business-oriented degrees from the University of Louisiana at Monroe and Troy University-Phenix City. She has worked at TSYS for the last 25 years. Green and her family are members of Smiths Station Baptist Church and are active volunteers in the church’s Upward Basketball ministry.
“I would like to use my years of leadership experience and working in corporate America to make decisions for our city that both support growth and the best interests of our community. A few areas of specific interest to me are the continued economic growth of our city, the development of an area dedicated for walking our pets and for several community tennis courts.
I love my community and when elected I look forward to serving each citizen with honesty, openness, and integrity.”
Contact information – 706-593-3547
Holman-Stein – “I, Diane Holman-Stein, am blessed to have called Smiths Station my home since 1991 and Mount Zion UMC my family’s Church home for the past 23 years where I also serve on the Church Council. After graduating from Wetumpka High School, I went on to earn my ‘Bachelor’s Degree of Fine Arts’ from the University of Montevallo and in 2015, completed courses from the University of North Alabama to become a ‘Certified Alabama Planning & Zoning Official.'”
Employed with the City of Smiths Station:
2006-Present: Administrative Clerk to the Planning & Zoning Department (currently on leave as required by AL State Election Laws)
2007-Present: Appointed to serve as the City’s first Archivist by then Mayor LaFaye Dellinger
2017-Present: Appointed to serve as Administrative Secretary to the Zoning Board of Adjustment
“I am running for City Council Place 5 because of my combined early personal involvement with the City’s startup by supporting the Incorporation effort and working the Census, 14 years of experience as a staff member in the day-to-day operations of the City and interactions with its citizens which has given me an insight and understanding that needs to be present on our City Council. We have seen wonderful growth in the past four years and my hope is that this will continue with wise choices as well as a respectful balance between residential and commercial development.”
Contact information – 706-332-6485
* Places are at-large positions unlike districts and wards, and do not indicate a specific area or portion of the City being represented. *