There's just one week until Savannah residents hit the polls to vote for their choice for mayor. Every Tuesday for the past six weeks, WTOC has been profiling one of the candidates, in randomly selected order. Today, we focus on Colleen Williams.
Williams says, with a week left in the campaign, she hasn't had much time to think about anything else. She says voters have nicknamed her the Margaret Thatcher of the South, and she hopes to achieve similar success. "If she can run England in bad economic times and get it straightened out, I can straighten out the city," she said.
And Williams hopes to do that by being elected, promising if elected she would be more accessible to citizens by having city council meetings at night and opening the mayor's office on Saturdays to hear their concerns. She says it would give citizens a chance she never had. "I kept asking everyone to do something, nobody did," she said. "So I figured, if I wanted this cleaned up I better just do it."
Williams grew up in Pennsylvania, and at the age of 23 became a widow. Then with her one-year-old son she moved to Savannah. Now, 30 years later, she owns two businesses, including her bed and breakfast called the Confederate Inn and a rooming house. Williams says her business savvy will help her once she's elected.
"I started two successful businesses, both very successful, so I can start businesses from scratch and make a good living," she said. "I know what works and what doesn't work."
At Savannah Technical College's mayoral forum today, Williams said there are serious problems that the City of Savannah has to deal with, including dealing with crime and having more local jobs. "I want this to be a much, much better town than it is now. Savannah is the lady of the South but she's gotten her gloves a little dirty."
And despite her small stature, Williams says don't let her size fool you. "I'm responsible. I don't go away. I look soft, but I'm steel underneath."
Williams added if she is not elected mayor, she will run for Congress.