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franklin county times

Grissom ready to begin new job

A day after election results were returned in the city of Russellville, David Grissom said it was still hard to fathom that he will officially become the mayor of his hometown on November 5.

Grissom, a local businessman, defeated incumbent mayor Troy Oliver in Tuesday’s municipal election with a decisive 68 percent of the vote.

Grissom said he understands his new position comes with a great deal of responsibility, but after serving as the councilman for District 5 for the past four years, he said he is familiar with where the city currently stands and where it needs to be in the future.

“This whole campaign, I have tried to relay to the voters what my motto would be for the next four years if I were elected as mayor, and that motto is ‘teamwork,’” Grissom said.

“To effectively run a city government, I believe you need to have everyone from the mayor to the council to the department heads to the employees working together.

“In my opinion, no one person who works for the city is more important than another – a councilman is just as important as a department head, the mayor is just as important as a city employee – because we all should be working together for one common goal – serving the citizens of Russellville in the best way possible.”

Grissom said the first thing he planned to do once he officially takes office is sit down with all the newly elected officials and the department heads to discuss ideas for the next four years.

“I know that all of these people who ran for the council will have ideas about how we can best improve the city,” Grissom said. “I’m sure when they were out campaigning they heard complaints and concerns just like I did and I want to address all those issues so we can prioritize them and move forward.”

Grissom said he also wanted to involve the department heads – the police and fire chiefs, the street department manager and the park and rec director – in these discussions so their input can be heard as well.

“Our department heads are the ones who have to take our ideas and policies as a council and physically implement them on a day-to-day basis so it only makes sense to involve them in this process also,” Grissom said.

“I don’t ever want it to feel like the mayor or the council are the ones ‘running’ this town. This town belongs to the citizens of Russellville and I want to always keep that in mind when we make decisions.”

Grissom said there were several key areas he hoped to focus on during his term, one of which is job creation and retention in the city.

“My wife, Melissa, and I graduated from Russellville High School in 1990 and we can count on one hand the number of people we graduated with who are still living and working here and I just think it doesn’t have to be that way,” Grissom said. “I want to work with the industrial boards to find ways to retain the industry we already have and ways we can attract more industry and jobs that will be good-paying jobs our citizens will benefit from.”

He said working with county officials and other mayors and councils to strengthen the county as a whole would be important as well.

“My daughter, Kate, just started second grade, and when she graduates from school, I want her to have job opportunities available to her right here at home without having to travel somewhere else to find work,” he said. “We hope those jobs and industry can be here in Russellville but if the county as a whole prospers, the city of Russellville will, too.”

Grissom said he also planned to make it a priority to work with the city schools to ensure they remain a valuable asset to the community.

“Our school systems is something we have always been proud of and something people always notice when they are looking to relocate to this area,” Grissom said. “I plan to work closely with Superintendent Rex Mayfield and make sure we are doing all we can for our schools.”

Grissom said while there are many good ideas he hopes to implement, he wanted to bring it back to his original message and make it clear first and foremost that a spirit of teamwork would be the only way to get things accomplished.

“You can have all the great ideas in the world, but if you have people who are pulling one way or the other who don’t want to compromise and work together, nothing will work like it should,” he said.

“That’s why my first priority come November and what I will work on throughout my term will be bringing the city of Russellville together so we can have a city that’s growing, prospering and is something we can all be proud of.”

He added that he was still very appreciative of the people who supported him during his campaign.

“I just want to thank the citizens of this town for allowing me the opportunity to serve the community as their mayor,” he said. “I’m very optimistic about the next four years and I’m excited about the future of our city.”