Three candidates are on the ballot in Tuesday's election for two Harlem City Council seats.
Melonie Dappie is taking on incumbents John Thigpen and Rudolph Dixon in the nonpartisan election. The top two vote-getters win the seats.
"I want to see things go as best as they can for this town," said Dappie, who moved to Harlem five years ago. "Basically, I want to do what's best for the people of Harlem and help make Harlem the best place it can be."
In a similar bid two years ago, Dappie came in third to incumbents Robin Root and Tom Blalock.
If she's elected, Dappie said, she will keep a close eye on city expenses.
"I think we have to, especially in this economy. We really need to watch what we're spending and make sure we're spending reasonably," Dappie said.
Dixon first ran for city council in 1994, shortly after he retired as a Methodist minister.
He said it is important as a public servant to be a good steward of city money.
"I'm the most conservative one on the council anyway," said Dixon, who is seeking a sixth term. "We bring something up and the first thing I ask is, 'Do we need it? How are we going to pay for it? Where is the money coming from?' "
Dixon said he's very proud of the plans city leaders made to manage growth and to add more amenities for residents, including walking trails and an outdoor pavilion.
"We have become more visionary in that sense," Dixon said. "I think we are on the right track."
Thigpen, who plans to seek a third term, is a senior operator at DSM Chemical in Augusta and a volunteer firefighter and emergency medical technician in Thomson.
"I love it," Thigpen said of his city service. "I really enjoy working with the people of Harlem. I try to look out for the people's best interests."
City officials have lots of ongoing projects, including the new Harlem Department of Public Safety building and more in the planning.
Thigpen said current leaders look for funding, preferably grants, for each project.
Mayor Bobby Culpepper in Thomson, is running unopposed for re-election.
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