Robert Urquhart is running for mayor of Bonifay. [CONTRIBUTED]

I was born and raised in Bonifay and attended Bonifay schools. I am a retired combat disabled veteran and federal agent with an MBA degree from an accredited university. But I am not here to expound on my past careers or education. I would rather speak to the problems with our city government and some of the things needed to produce positive change. It is imperative that the voters elect those who value the interests and needs of the City of Bonifay and its citizens as a whole over self-serving projects or small interest groups. That is the basis of my campaign platform. 

I would like to point out some of the obvious differences in the upcoming election compared to previous campaigns. Have you ever seen as many people running for city office at one time before? There are exactly two people running for each vacancy. Remember that point. What about the signs? Some are larger and fancier than those in county, state or national elections. Another fact that most citizens may not know is that, to my knowledge, this is the first time in history, current council members including the mayor have been appointed, not elected, by city voters. 

Appointed by whom? Were these appointments made by a small group whose interests, for the most part, run counter to the best interests of the city and its citizens? I know the answer and trust that you do also. There is a lot that needs to be changed, including but not limited to: stop wasting our tax dollars on frivolous projects; we need to conduct city business in a more informative and transparent fashion; there is unsightly junk on our main streets and side streets that need to be removed; we need to treat our constituents with respect and be responsive to their inquiries; and we need to make Bonifay a better place to live and work. 

As some of you know, I was elected to City Council Seat 2 in 2020. I soon discovered a magnitude of problems in our city government, some I hope to bring to light if elected as mayor and have a majority of council members who will work with me. I was re-elected in 2022 but the self-interest groups on council (and others with influence on council members) set me up to be charged with misdemeanor battery by simply “touching†someone within this close-knit network. Only one council member voted against removing me from office. I had good reason to protest, but why bother? The aforementioned council member and I were the minority on the five- member council and our votes never counted on major matters. Even if a councilman was absent, the vote was then tied, which amounts to a defeat for the minority.

This same group is behind some vicious and completely false rumors about me and other candidates designed to defeat those of us who want to see a positive change in our city government. Remember I said there are two people running for each position? There are two factions running for office – those who want to maintain the status quo and those that want positive change. Also note that some of the status quo group behind the above extremely childish battery charge against me and the vicious rumors are running in some of the seats. Are they worthy opponents? I think not. 

I know I’ve highlighted some controversial things. I feel these are things that need to be said. Should you decide to vote for me and a more honest City of Bonifay council, I will endeavor to serve the best interests of the citizens. But even if you prefer the other candidate, so be it, but vote! Do not give up this awesome responsibility.

Respectfully, Robert Urquhart

Robert Urquhart is running for mayor of Bonifay. [CONTRIBUTED]

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