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franklin county times

Shewbart wants to put hands-on experience to work for Red Bay

Mike Shewbart
Mike Shewbart

For Red Bay’s Mike Shewbart, his time as director of operations for the City of Red Bay are the solid foundation he will build on if elected as mayor.

“As director of operations, I’ve been working directly with the mayor for three years,” Shewbart said. “I’ve done the day-to-day work, and I just want to try to be elected mayor and serve the people and do some of the things that need to be done.”

A Red Bay High School graduate, Shewbart has served as the director for day-to-day operations for city departments, including the sanitation department, sewer department, street department and parks and recreation department. “A lot of times, I’ll work 12, 14, 16 hours a day,” he said. “I enjoy it. It’s a lot of work, but I enjoy serving the people. That’s what this job is all about. I’m community-oriented; I love the community.”

Shewbart has a track record to show what he’s accomplished and helped to accomplish for the City of Red Bay. “We have electronically mapped every sewer manhole in Red Bay. We’ve checked conditions of the lines; we videoed a lot of them,” Shewbart said. “We’re very fortunate: we’ve gotten nearly near ¾ of a million dollars in sewer grants that we’ve accumulated.” Streets and traffic count have also been under scrutiny, Shewbart said. “I’ve got the hands-on experience, and I want to put it to work.”

Paving roads and rehabilitating utilities will be primary focuses for Shewbart, if he is elected. Bringing in new jobs will also be a priority. “Our seniors who are graduating and those who are getting out of technical school or college, they want to come home. We have more people needing a job then people who are retiring. We’ve got a nice industrial park, and we need to put some people in it.”

Shewbart said job production is, in fact, the biggest challenge facing Red Bay now and in the coming years. “In this economy, we have to battle with other cities. We have to battle with other countries. We have to be at our very best and present a package that would be attractive to industry coming in. We’ve got some outstanding industry in Red Bay – Tiffin Motorhome, Sunshine – homegrown companies that we’re proud of and we appreciate. But we’ve got to go after others out there that are hunting for a place to go … We want them to come to town.”

As mayor, Shewbart said he thinks his commitment to hard work, his business sense and his IT knowledge, as well as networking contacts, will be assets in serving the city well.

Shewbart has two children, Brooke, 16, and Lane, 13, who both attend Red Bay High School. They are active in First United Methodist Church. He is president of the Franklin County Board of Education, member of the Youth Basketball Board and past president of the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce.

“I’ll work hard. I want to put my experience to work.”