Meet the candidates: Smiths Station council Pl. 3

Meet the candidates: Smiths Station council Pl. 3

Kamarcus Adkins goal to cultivate kids’ minds

Kamarcus Adkins is seeking the Place 3 seat on the Smiths Station City Council. Adkins is from the Opelika and Beauregard area. He attended Russell County High School and moved to Smiths Station more than 15 years ago. As a student in high school and while at Southern Union Community College, Adkins worked in a grocery store where he moved into a managerial role. He then began working for Coca Cola as an account manager. 

“I thrived there and enjoyed selling products,” Adkins said. “I took what I knew from the grocery side to Coca Cola and learned from the mom and pop to the corporation.”

Adkins has worked on many election campaigns in the past. Four years ago, he helped other council members but had not considered running himself. He also helped with campaigns for the 2018 election. This time, Adkins decided it was his turn to run for office. 

“I have a love for meeting neighbors. I’ve been going to council meetings for years. I wanted to make sure I took this job seriously. I needed to know how city government worked. There are good things going on in Smiths Station. There’s a swing park, walking trail, new homes. My main goal is to cultivate our kids,” he said. 

Adkins has been mentoring local children for years. He wants to make sure they have a place to go, play, and be mentored. 

“We can grow a city that way,” he said. “In four years, [Mayor F.L. “Bubba” Copeland] has done some exceptional things. Change is already happening. I just want to be part of it and letting our kids know they’re part of something that’s growing. They can be proud of it as well. We’ve had issues with mental health and suicides. These kids need to know they’re loved and have a place to go. Kids need a push to know what opportunities are available to them,” he said.

Adkins described Smiths Station as a mom and pop town that is growing. 

“I don’t want to tell people to vote for me because I’m bringing all these businesses. That’s not realistic. I want to see more things come, but Smiths Station has to be ready for those businesses,” Adkins said. He hopes to see parks and recreation grow, but he knows building new things takes time. 

Adkins has two children. He is involved in his church as well as the Elite Sunz basketball and mentoring program. 

“Win or lose, I’ll still be in the neighborhood and working with kids,” he said. 

Steve Lansdon says his experience is an asset

Steve Landson is seeking the Place 3 seat for Smiths Station City Council. Lansdon has been a lifelong resident of Smiths Station. He retired from Southeastern Freight Lines Trucking Company as a Regional Fleet Service Manager and now works part time for Penske Truck Rental. 

Lansdon said when Smiths Station first became a city, he was tempted to run for mayor. 

“I travelled every week for my job and I didn’t think I could do it being so far away,” he said. 

Now that he is retired, he has the opportunity to put time into being a councilmember. He wants to use that experience to help move the city forward. 

“As a regional manager, I was involved in millions of dollars with fuel and costs, but you still had to watch your pennies,” Landson said. “I want to get in there, study what’s going on and see where I need to be. I want to keep growing, but I want to watch pennies and not just spend money because the city is starting to get more money in.”

Landson would like to see different kinds of businesses coming to the area.

“In my opinion, the best way or a community or a city is to have a diversified economy as far as companies. We can’t have one big company that everyone works in because if it goes out of business, it wipes everyone out,” he said. 

He also wants a place for kids to come back to and work. Different companies give kids more opportunity. Sewage, he said, would attract industry. 

Landson has been married to his wife Susan for 47 years. Susan works for the City of Smiths Station. 

“She keeps me informed,” he said. “I’ve been to meetings. I’ve been involved the whole time but from a distance.” 

He believes his experience would allow him to be an asset to the city. 

William Spear touts common sense values, ideas for city

William Spear is seeking the Place 3 position on the Smiths Station City Council. Spear is a lifelong Smiths Station resident who graduated from Smiths Station High in 1966 and has two grandchildren who are currently in the school system. 

Having worked as a forester for the Georgia Pacific Corporation for more than 40 years, Spear feels like his time as allowed him to have experience working with people, contracts, contractors. Those experiences, along with serving on commission for the City of Smiths Station, helps him have knowledge of city operations. 

He previous served on the Lee County Juvenile Conference Committee and Smiths Station Zoning Board of Adjustment. He currently serves on the Smiths Station Planning Commission.

“I feel like that gives me an advantage over my opponents who don’t have that experience,” Spear said. “I’ve learned a lot there that’s given me the outlook to move on with this position.”

When Smiths Station became a city 20 years ago, Spear said he spent time knocking on doors to get people to vote for the change. 

“It took a lot of effort to get Smiths Station to be a city,” he said. “It’s still country to a certain extent. We needed the big city stiff because we wanted to be our own city. We’re fast out there. I want to help continue that and move with it.”

Spear noted the number of new homeowners and attracting new businesses. He hopes to continue to help that pace in the future.

“We have a lot going on that I like,” he said. 

Spear describes himself as a common-sense person with common values. 

“I’m down to earth and I’m easy to talk to if someone wants to talk about something they’re concerned about,” he added. 

Spear currently works as a bus driver and substitute teacher for the Lee County School system. He has been in that role for 10 years.