Grayson responds to allegations

While a number of issues have taken their turn in the spotlight during Demopolis’ campaign season, incumbent Mayor Mike Grayson responded to one allegation Friday.

Demopolis’ Mayor Mike Grayson speaks at a recent political forum. (Michael O. Clements / The West Alabama Watchman)

Grayson noted a specific rumor that purported he clandestinely utilized $2 million of city funds to obtain equipment such as welding simulators to be used in the event the City of Demopolis were allowed by the Alabama Department of Postsecondary Education to partner with Shelton State Community College in the creation of technical education offerings within the city.

Grayson pointed out Friday that the machines in question are already in place in the Cedar Street facility that previously housed the New Era Cap Company, but that no city funds were used in the procurement of the equipment.

“Unlike the campaign claims that I covertly went out and spent $2 million of the city’s money on that, no. Not true. False. Wrong,” Grayson said plainly. “That equipment is owned by AIDT (Alabama Industrial Development Training), which is now a Department of Commerce entity.”

Grayson also stated that the equipment is valued at higher than the allegations have indicated.

“It’s not $2 million, it has been estimated at $3 million,” he said.

The equipment in question will soon be utilized as Shelton State begins offering technical education courses in Demopolis in the coming months. Alabama Department of Postsecondary Education Interim Chancellor Dr. Susan Price put her stamp on the endeavor earlier this summer.

Grayson is currently in the midst of a re-election campaign against challenger Don Singleton. The municipal election is Tuesday, Aug. 28.