Mayoral Candidates Make Final Push

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It is down to the wire for candidates running for mayor in Meridian.

The candidates only have one day left to get their message across to voters in the Queen City. Area residents have several issues that are of concern these days, but the most common one is centered around crime. That's a big reason why each candidate's vision deals with the ongoing fight against crime.

"But from day one of my campaign, I've talked about having a comprehensive approach to solving the crime issue," Democrat Rod Amos says. "That's by having better paying jobs in Meridian, better schools, better parks and recreation, and better neighborhoods."

Amos says going through neighborhoods and getting rid of dilapidated houses is a starting point. He tells Newscenter 11 in order for Meridian residents to feel safer, police will have to step up their efforts. At the same time, he says locking people up doesn't necessarily help either.

"It's an expensive proposition and I believe through economic development, we can start to deter and maybe intervene in the lives of many of the youths that are making these poor decisions," Amos explains.

Newscenter 11 reached out to Republican William Compton, Junior as campaigning draws to a close, but we did not hear back from him. Just a week ago, he told our Wade Phillips that making jobs available for young people when they finish school is critical in fighting crime.

"Crime is not a teenage problem," Compton said. "Crime is a Meridian business community problem, it is a leadership problem because we cannot provide these children with a job."

Republican Cheri Barry and Democrat Percy Bland both spent the weekend talking to concerned citizens about crime. Both say it's an issue they are prepared to tackle, head-on.

"If crimes are being committed, they are being arrested immediately and put in jail," Barry says. "So, I see a huge difference in our police department."

"I think we've just had some issues with a lot of turnover within the police department and we've got to get in there and get everything situated," Bland says.

Polls open at 7 a.m. on Tuesday.