Three seek District 3 commission seat
Editor’s Note: Getting to know your candidate will be a regular feature informing you about our local candidates leading to the March primary.
This week’s featured candidates are seeking the local office of county commissioner in District 3, an office that is currently held by Greg Smith who has chosen not to seek re-election.
Randy Hargett and Mark Holland will face off in the democratic primary election on March 13. The winner of that race will face republican candidate Rayburn Massey in the general election in November.
Randy Hargett is a lifelong resident of Franklin County who was raised in the Belgreen community and currently resides in the Dempsey community.
Hargett served on the Franklin County Board of Education from 1998 – 2004 and he said that experience allows him to better understand the needs the county is facing.
“I have seen first hand not only the educational challenges facing our county school system but also the economic and social issues that are facing our county presently,” Hargett said.
“From 2000 to 2010 our county population only grew about 1.5 percent. Our unemployment rate continues to be at or near the national average.
“The people of Franklin County are hard working people and I believe they deserve to see more opportunities available to them. I am willing to work diligently to make good things happen for Franklin County.”
Hargett said he understood that during these tough economic times, funding for each of the county’s departments would be an ongoing challenge but if elected, he plans to work with each department and take on the responsibility of making sure each way to improve is explored.
“Our 33rd President Harry Truman kept a sign on his desk that said ‘The Buck Stops Here,’ meaning there was no one else to pass the responsibility on to,” Hargett said. “I believe that if a person is going to serve the public then that person should take the responsibility for how he or she votes and the position he or she takes on the issues.
“It is very important for the county commissioner to find out as much as possible about the issues he or she is voting on before making any decisions. I will keep the public’s best interest in mind and I will always try to make the best policies to benefit our citizens.”
Hargett said the county road system will probably always be one of the greatest areas of concern for the citizens of Franklin County and while there are several ways to obtain funding for road projects, Hargett said the best solution is to see growth in the county both numerically and economically.
“The only way I see to help our county grow and to keep our people here is to provide jobs, and I believe either bringing new jobs to our county or expanding our existing industries will help our county gain the stability it needs,” he said.
“I am willing to work hand in hand with our Economic Development Authority to seek out prospective business and to help create our own home-grown businesses. I believe this can be done with a great degree of success if everyone is willing to put in the time and effort.”
Hargett graduated from Belgreen High School in 1976 and from Shoals Community College in 1978.
He and his wife, Rita, have been married for 33 years. They have a son, Brent Hargett, and a daughter, Kelli Hargett. He is employed with Packaging Corporation of America, in Counce, Tenn.
Mark Holland has lived in Franklin County his entire life and he said his decision to run for county commissioner is based on his desire to see the county he grew up in and raised his family in move forward in the future.
“The real driving force behind me running for county commissioner isn’t for myself – it’s for my kids and for the other people in this county,” Holland said. “Franklin County is a great place to live and work and I want to do my part to ensure that it stays that way for the future generations so they will be able to live here and raise their families here, too.”
Holland said his business experience as the owner and operator of M and M Backhoe and Trencher Service for the past 18 years would be an asset as a county commissioner and would help him make informed decisions if elected.
Holland said he has worked his entire life in the construction and excavation industry and is licensed by the Alabama Onsite Wastewater Management Board.
“I think my experience will help make the county a better place,” Holland said. “I want to use my knowledge to bring positivity to the county so it can be a place people are proud to call home.”
If elected, Holland said he wanted to make sure Franklin County’s vast resources were being fully utilized so the citizens were getting the most for their tax dollars.
“I know the biggest thing on people’s minds is the condition of our roads and that’s something I want to address if I am elected,” he said.
“The roads are a problem all over the county, but the roads that lead to our lakes are of particular concern to me because we need to be able to utilize our natural resources and tourist attractions to bring more revenue into the county.
“We could host tournaments at the lakes and really market our recreational activities, but people who have these expensive boats and vehicles don’t want to travel down roads that are in terrible condition to get to the lake.
“If I’m elected, I want to see these issues addressed because the more opportunities we have to bring people into our county, the more opportunity we’ll have for revenue to fix more roads and complete other projects.”
Holland is a 1987 graduate of Vina High School. He is a member of the Russellville Booster Club and has served on the Business and Industry Team for the RHS Agriscience Department. He is also a member of the Mt. Hope Freewill Baptist Church in Vina where he serves on the building committee and pulpit committee.
Holland has been married to AnnaKay Franklin Holland for the past 19 years. The couple has two children. Their son, Chase, is 15 and attends Russellville High School. Their daughter, Kaydee, is 9 and attends Russellville Elementary School. He is the son of Linda Holland of Hodges and the late Don Holland.
Rayburn Massey is no stranger to the political arena. He served as a county commissioner from 2004 to 2008 and said he was ready to take on the responsibility once again to serve the people of Franklin County.
“Being a county commissioner is important because they must make wise decisions to ensure that the county is in compliance with state and federal mandates such as providing an animal shelter, jail facilities, a waste disposal department and a road and bridge program that ensures the safety of travel for citizens and school buses. They also do an annual budget to provide services to the citizens of Franklin County by spending their tax dollars wisely.
“I’m seeking this office to serve all Franklin County residents with honesty, dependability and accountability without showing partiality to any person or group because I want to ensure Franklin County remains a great place to live, work and raise a family.”
Massey said his experience being a county commissioner for four years as well as his 36 years of experience in public work make him the most qualified for the position.
“I have experience supervising a department with 50 plus people, overseeing and implementing multi-million dollar projects, operating the department within a budget, ensuring proper upkeep and maintenance of equipment and handling every day personnel issues,” he said.
“If elected, I hope to work hand in hand with school officials and educators, economic development, county department heads, cities and towns and their respective mayors and councils and volunteer groups such as rescue squads and fire departments to ensure the needs of Franklin County are met. I hope working hand in hand and being a team player with these groups will allow us to move forward to meet the much needed objectives.”
Massey was born in Franklin County to the late Matthew and Lou Ella Massey. He graduated from Belgreen High School and obtained a diploma in instrumentation and electronics at Calhoun Jr. College. He also has an FAA licensed mechanic degree from Hamilton Technical School.
Massey has been married to Brenda Stepp Massey for 44 years. They have two children including their daughter, Crista Madden, and her husband, Jeff Madden; and their son, Jeff Massey, and his wife, Tara Massey.
He has four grandchildren: Kody and Darby Madden and Madelyn and Reagan Massey.
“I’ve lived most of my life in Franklin County where we raised our children and where they attended and graduated from school. I am a Christian and attend church regularly.
“I enjoyed serving the people of Franklin County during my previous term. I’m proud to have been a part of implementing the GIS program, acquiring the Mike Green Industrial Park and the first community storm shelter in Franklin County at Vina.
“If elected, I would proudly serve the people of Franklin County again with honesty and integrity.”