Mansfield began the election cycle with four contested races, but by the time the election roles around the council post 1 seat is expected to be the only seat with two candidates.
Incumbent Orville McGunigal will face off against challenger W.M. “Marty” Smallwood.
Smallwood, 47, is running because he believes it’s time for some new faces on the Mansfield council. Mayor Bill Cocchi is not running for reelection and council post 4 is vacant.
“We’re going to have a new mayor and we need some new council people on board with different ideas and a new way of looking at things,” Smallwood said. “I feel I could bring some different ideas and a different set of eyes to help the town and just try to make it a better place.”
Smallwood was born in Newton County and has lived in Mansfield for 17 years.
He is the sterilization coordinator for medical industry C.R. Bard, where he has worked for 24 years. He has previously worked in Bard’s distribution and manufacturing departments. He also previously worked with the Newton County Water Department for eight months.
He graduated from Newton County High School in 1982.
He and his wife, Theresa, have two sons, Blake, 17, and Tyler, 13.
He said he has been a volunteer sports coach for the Covington Y and Newton County Recreation Department for the past decade.
Smallwood said he would like to get a town website created as a tool for the citizens to keep up with town events and council meetings and minutes.
“We don’t have a lot of citizen involvement down here. We have a lot of good people here in Mansfield, but I just feel they’re not involved. The website would be a tool for them to be involved,” he said.
Smallwood said he would also like to look into passing an ordinance to help clean up the town by limiting junk cars and forcing property and rental house owners to keep their properties looking good.