Lanett’s Most Controversial Council Member Steps Aside
This week, The People’s Voice interviewed Mr. Tony D. Malone, has served two consecutive terms probably as the single most controversial public official in Lanett. Malone, who did not seek re-election will attend his last City Council meeting, on Monday, November 3, the day before the General Election.
T-P-V: How does it feel to be approaching your final meeting as a member of the Lanett City Council?
Mr. Malone: “Well, I really don’t have no particular feeling, because this particular task has been completed an I’m looking forward to whatever God has for me to do.”
T-P-V: When were you first elected and how long did you serve?
Mr. Malone: “I was elected in 2000 and I served the citizens of Lanett for two terms, eight years.’
T-P-V: What are some of the most controversial issues that have arisen during your tenure?
Mr. Malone: “I was elected in 2000 from a predominately black district, District. 1. One issue that involved all citizens, was the high utility bills that are paid to the city. It bothered me that many senior citizens, blacks and whites who are on a fixed income, pay almost half of what their checks might be. If they are receiving between 500 and 700 dollars a month and their utilities are at times $300ish +, what does that leave them for food, medicine and other critical times? This affect people livelihoods, and it concerned me more than anything because I knew that we, as a city government could do more in helping with the utilities bills situation.”
T-P-V: How was this controversial issue resolved?
Mr. Malone: “During my first term, with the Hamil Administration, we did manage to implement a budget-pay form of payment, to try and ease this big burden by giving citizens more time over a certain period to pay their bills. It helped some, but now I think it’s more of “what click you with”…”
T-P-V: It was often stated or implied (sometimes by other Lanett city officials) that there was conflict of interest between your position as Chambers County NAACP President and Lanett City Councilman? Was there ever a time when you viewed this as a conflict?
Mr. Malone: “No.”
T-P-V: Do you have any regrets over not running for re-election?
Mr. Malone: “No.”
T-P-V: Why did you choose not to run for re-election?
Mr. Malone: “Because God , who is my Commanded In Chief told me that he had other tasks for me to do for him.”
T-P-V: What will you do now that you won’t be serving as an elected official in the City of Lanett?
Mr. Malone: “I will continue to serve in God’s army as I have been before I became a member of the Lanett City Council.”
T-P-V: How will you conclude your tenure on the Lanett City Council?
Mr. Malone: “Giving thanks to God for the opportunity to serve in that capacity.”
T-P-V: Are there any goals that you had as a council member that you were unsuccessful in reaching?
Mr. Malone: “I really don’t set goals, because tomorrow is not promised to none of us. I often wonder. But I just take one day at a time. What ever faces me that day, with God’s help it is handled.”
T-P-V: What advice would you give your successor?
Mr. Malone: “I knew that I was on a mission and I knew my purpose. It was nothing that I could do, but with the help of God things happen accordingly to His will and I will tell the next person that’s taking my seat, follow Jesus and still there will be some bumps, but do what is right for the people and God will watch your back and your front…”