Heavenly calling presses Haynes to run for mayor
By By Ben Alexander/The Meridian Star
March 21, 2001
Independent mayoral candidate Charlie Haynes says it is divine guidance not ambition that has driven him to seek Meridian's highest office.
Haynes, 57, has no previous political experience. He has spent most of his professional life in business management, working as manager of several retail stores including Marvin's Home Building Supplies and Wal-Mart. Haynes resigned as manager of Marvin's recently to start his own Christian ministry working with drug-addicted couples as a family crisis interventionist.
Although the jump into the political arena may seem like a stretch, Haynes says he believes God's plan for him is to get actively involved in civic matters and make a difference in his community.
According to Haynes, city leaders are spending far too much money on big-ticket items that will have virtually no impact on most citizens' lives. He acknowledges that projects such as the renovation of The Grand Opera House of Mississippi, the new Central Fire Station and the revitalization of Union Station are all highly visible projects but says most citizens don't understand how these projects can raise their quality of life.
Haynes says his business background makes up for his lack of political experience, noting his strengths in personnel, management and budgeting.
Haynes, who also serves as an evangelist at The Church of the Way, said Meridian's next mayor needs to focus attention on improving the citizens' quality of life in order to address a declining population shown by Census 2000 figures.
Haynes is married to the former Pamela Smith of the Bailey community. He and his wife have four children.
The qualifying deadline for municipal elections was March 2. Party primaries are set for May 1 with runoff elections set two weeks later. The general election is set for June 6.
Ben Alexander is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.