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franklin county times

Hudnall announces candidacy for mayor

By Staff
TALKING IT OVER Wally Hudnall, left, talks with Brittany Diller and Thomas Clay about his announcement Tuesday. He will seek the office of mayor. Photo by Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star.
By Ben Alexander/The Meridian Star
Jan. 31, 2001
Local food store owner Wally Hudnall Tuesday announced his candidacy for mayor and said if elected he would work to cut city spending and expand the tax base.
Hudnall, a self-made businessman, has owned Hudnall Food Store on 18th Street in Meridian for the past 25 years. He also owns the Piggly Wiggly in Collinsville.
Hudnall, 51, a Meridian native, quarterbacked the 1968 Meridian High School football team to a state championship. He is married to the former Dianne Combest.
He qualified as a Republican candidate.
The businessman admits not having any previous political experience, but said he would work to gain the trust of Meridian and its citizens through hard work and dedication.
Hudnall said he was struck by the political bug when his two daughters were home for Christmas after living out-of-state the last few years.
According to Hudnall, spending in City Hall has gotten out of hand over the last few years and tighter constraints need to be placed on city government to keep it in check.
Although Hudnall said he has supported incumbent Mayor John Robert Smith's campaigns monetarily in previous years, he says the time has come for the city to change its focus from spending to cutting.
While he admits to not having all the solutions to Meridian's problems Hudnall said he would use Meridian's best resource to answer some problems within the city … its people.
If elected Hudnall said he would evaluate every city department to see if cuts could perhaps be made in personnel to trim the budget up.
Hudnall also said he would work to see that city pay raises were distributed more evenly and fairly to employees.
But Hudnall said, as mayor, he would lead by example and that cutting the city budget would begin with his own salary. Whoever is elected as the next mayor is on tap to make $75,000 per year, Hudnall said he would cut that figure to around $40,000.
Ben Alexander is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at balexander@themeridianstar.com.