On Tuesday, November 17, the Macon Examiner spoke with Daryl Ra’Shad Dowdell, who had recently won a November 3 election — 143 to 99 — over his opponent who had been the former Sheriff of Sumter County from 2000 to 2004–Robert Ingle. Dowdell, 38, will soon become the youngest member on Americus City Council when he is sworn into office in January 2016 . Dowdell is also the youngest African-American ever to be elected to public office in Sumter County. Previously, the youngest person to be elected to City Council had been Lewis Melvin Lowe who was the first African-American to be elected in 1975 when Lowe was 47 years old.
Dowdell says he is eager to get to work as the new District 6 councilman and takes his new responsibilities representing not only District 6, but all of Americus, very seriously. Dowdell, who works full time at the Sumter County Correctional Institute along with being an ordained deacon at his family church in nearby DeSoto says the following about his new role on Americus City Council: “I want to make the best decisions for the people of Americus. Every decision I make, I will put God first.”
Dowdell wants to increase interest in the community in regard to citizens in Americus taking the time and attending City Council meetings.The new District 6 councilman wants to encourage people in his district and throughout Americus to attend City Council meetings at least twice a year.
One of the issues that Dowdell talked about is finding ways to reduce crime in the city of Americus. The issue is a topic of concern in most communities–large and small and rural and urban. Dowdell believes one way to decrease crime in Americus is increasing access to jobs in Americus. Additionally, Dowdell also says he wants to work with City Council and try to help the short-staffed police department along with increasing patrols in more neighborhoods.
Dowdell has reiterated or stated again that he wants to be “accessible and accountable” to his constituents and to listen to their concerns. One thing in particular he said he would like to see the Americus City Council address is to build a senior citizens center. Dowdell mentioned that he would like to see the Senior Center Center be open longer throughout the whole week and not on just selected days.
Dowdell also states that he wants to help the youth in Americus and Sumter County along with promoting programs and initiatives which will make a positive impact in the community.