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Candidates share their views ahead of municipal elections

As the Aug. 25 elections approach in municipalities across Franklin County, candidates for mayor and city council positions are taking the time to reach out to constituents and share their views of what’s needed in each community.

Candidates running with no opposition shall be considered “duly elected” to the role.

HODGES

Candidates for mayor:

  • Brian Scott

High School: Vina ’93

Why I want to run: To help the town out. I’ve served on the water board for 10 years. After everything that happened with the horse trail, our town has been really divided, so I want to help everyone to come back together.

Biggest problem in this area: Just getting the town to come back together from the division we had over the horse trail. The horse trail really split the town in half, and we need to get the town to come back together.

Biggest impact I think I’ll be able to make: To continue to grow the town. My knowledge of the water system will help, and just continuing to do what it takes to make the town grow while still maintaining our small town.

  • Jeremy McGraw

High School: Hamilton ’99

Why I want to run: I filled a vacancy on the town council. They also asked me to be mayor pro-tempore. I tossed the idea around for running for mayor, and the current mayor and several city council members encouraged me to.

Biggest problem in this area: Crime and illegal narcotics

Biggest impact I think I’ll be able to make: The biggest impact is I will continue the current mayor’s practice of conducting town business by the law. There will be no illegal, immoral or unethical actions taken as long as I can foresee it and stop it. Our current mayor has done a great job of that.

PHIL CAMPBELL

Candidates for mayor:

  • Victor Hawkins

High School: Jefferson Davis Community College ’83

Why I want to run: The town is dying and no one is doing anything to make it grow.

Biggest problem in this area: Lack of income and job creation

Biggest impact I think I’ll be able to make: I’m trying to get a free clinic to come to town and a few more restaurants.

  • Mike McQuary

High School: Hackleburg ’89

Why I want to run: I want to serve my community. I’ve spent four years as councilman, and I feel like I can do a good job as mayor.

Biggest problem in this area: Revenue and we need more policemen

Biggest impact I think I’ll be able to make: I hope to bring some businesses to Phil Campbell and help old buildings in need of fixing up. We also need to hire additional policemen and get a recreational center for the youth.

  • Jim Bonner

High School: Phil Campbell ’71

Why I want to run: I’ve lived in Phil Campbell all my life, and I’m upset that nothing is being done about the downtown area. The area is going downhill.

Biggest problem in this area: There are no businesses here. There are very few places that you can go to get something to eat. Any businesses that we do have don’t seem to stay very long.

Biggest impact I think I’ll be able to make: I’ll be a full-time mayor, and I still have some contacts in Montgomery. I would be working full time for the city to try to fix things.

  • Steve Bell

High School: Phillips ’75

Why I want to run: I have a lot of projects I want to get done

Biggest problem in this area: Economy and business to give us enough revenue to do the projects we want to do. It’s also been a challenge to keep adequate police protection.

Biggest impact I think I’ll be able to make: Continuing our improvement and going forward with new projects.

Candidates for Council Place 1:

  • Barry King *Was not reachable for commment
  • Jimmy Campbell

High School: Mount Hope ’90

Why I want to run: I felt like this would be a good time to run. I have always been interested in it, so this seemed like a good time to throw my hat in the race.

Biggest problem in this area: A lack of employment opportunities. If there is some way we can get more businesses there and expand others.

Biggest impact I think I’ll be able to make: I just really want to try to give the residents of Phil Campbell a voice. I feel like so many times politicians get elected and go about their own agenda, but that’s not what I want.

Candidates for Council Place 2:

  • Jeremy Castburg

High School: PCHS ’04

Why I want to run: Seeing what shape the town is in, I felt like we needed some new people in office

Biggest problem in this area: Beautification of the town

Biggest impact I think I’ll be able to make: Hopefully inspiring more people to get up and do their part in the town. I just want something better for my kids.

  • Danny Brown

High School: PCHS ’71

Why I want to run: I’ve been on the council 28 years. I want to continue to help the people of Phil Campbell.

Biggest problem in this area: A small town always has revenue issues. We are very blessed with the businesses that we have and the people that support them and especially with everything we have been through in the past 10 years.

Biggest impact I think I’ll be able to make: I’ve never had an agenda going into a term. I always want to do what is best for the town. I just try to work with the mayor and the other council members to get what is best for the town done.

Candidates for Council Place 3:

  • Eddie Marbutt

High School: PCHS ’90

Why I want to run: I just wanted to see some changes in the town and help it grow.

Biggest problem in this area: Probably jobs. There’s just not a lot going on in Phil Campbell, so if we could get some more businesses to come to Phil Campbell.

Biggest impact I think I’ll be able to make: I’d like to see the downtown revitalized. I think if we could revitalize and rejuvenate the downtown the downtown then we could be able to get more businesses in.

Candidates for Council Place 4:

  • Derek Herron

High School: N/A

Why I want to run: To be a voice

Biggest problem in this area: We need more local businesses coming in and full-time police officers. The downtown area needs to be renovated, and there needs to be more opportunity for the kids. We also need speed bumps for the school area.

Biggest impact I think I’ll be able to make: Be able to listen to the residents and their concerns and address the situation to try and make the community happy.

  • Lynn Landers

High School: PCHS ’83

Why I want to run: I’m running for my third term, and I thing we’ve done a lot of improvement in the past two terms I’ve been in, but I feel like there is still room for growth.

Biggest problem in this area: Housing and the downtown area. There are no downtown businesses, and I think we need more homes for people to be able to move back into town if they want to. I also think we need some sort of a recreational center.

Biggest impact I think I’ll be able to make: Hopefully to be able to get the downtown revitalized.

Candidates for Council Place 5:

  • Philip King

High School: PCHS ’79

Why I want to run: This is my hometown. I’ve been around municipalities all my life, so I wanted to be a good steward for the people.

Biggest problem in this area: Jobs is No. 1. It’s hard to attract industry in a small town. We also need to clean up the town and make it more presentable and work with the businesses that are here. We also don’t offer much for our kids, and our kids are our future. We also need a full-time police department.

Biggest impact I think I’ll be able to make: Working with the other council members to fix up the town and make things more attractive so we can hopefully bring in more business.

RED BAY

Candidates for mayor:

  • Charlene Fancher

High School: RBHS ’82

Why I want to run: I have a lot of unfinished progress that I would love to see through in Red Bay. Some progress has been achieved the past four years, and I want to keep Red Bay on the right path for growth and progress.

Biggest problem in this area: There have been a lot of issues with the labor force due to COVID-19 with a lot of people on unemployment, which has been a challenge for our industries and businesses.

Biggest impact I think I’ll be able to make: It’s been evident that tremendous progress has been made the past four years, and I think experience has paid off. I want to continue to go to work for Red Bay and continue to see Red Bay grow because the possibilities are endless.

  • Johnny Adams

High School: New Site ’00

Why I want to run: I felt I could bring a personal touch to the office. Bring the office back to working for the betterment of Red Bay. An office that makes people feel appreciated and can simply come in and pull up a chair and talk.

Biggest problem in this area: I feel the roads in Red Bay are a big problem.

Biggest impact I think I’ll be able to make: That the people of Red Bay will look back 20 years from now and say he is one of us.

  • Juston Scott

High School: RBHS ’73

Why I want to run: For the better part of helping the working-class people, and I’m very concerned about our youth.

Biggest problem in this area: I want to give the working people and the middle-class people a voice where they could come to me with the problems, and I will try to solve anything I can. If I can’t solve it, it will be brought before the council, and any decision we make will be put in the minutes so citizens know all problems are addressed.

Biggest impact I think I’ll be able to make: I have been here for 65 years, and I’ve seen lots of mayors and council. I’m for progress. If there are any ways possible where I can get more industry in Red Bay, that is what I am going to try to do.

  • Jerrit Gassaway

High School: RBHS ’03

Why I want to run: My sister-in-law brought up the idea to me to run for the mayor position.

Biggest problem in this area: I would say everyone’s lack of interest in politics. A lot of people did not even know who the mayor was when asked.

Biggest impact I think I’ll be able to make: I hope to make Red Bay politics something that people want to involve themselves with.

Candidates for Council Place 1:

  • Mike Kennedy *Did not respond to request for comment

Candidates for Council Place 2:

  • Jarod Massey

High School: RBHS ’94

Why I want to run: I’ve been on the city council for six years. I enjoy the work that’s involved with it, and I care about Red Bay and want to see the area continue to grow.

Biggest problem in this area: One of the biggest problems is, like every other municipality, the COVID-19 issues. Due to this, our street department has really had to step up and do a lot of extra work that they didn’t have to do. We are also working on sewer issues and trying to work on getting grants to help with those issues. We are also working on several paving projects.

Biggest impact I think I’ll be able to make: Working with the mayor and the other city councilmen to come up with the best possible plan for the next four years to continue doing the things we are already doing with sewer issues and street projects but also working closely with our schools.

Candidates for Council Place 3:

  • Herbert Trulove

High School: RBHS ’60

Why I want to run: I enjoy working with the city and city officials. I felt like with my experience I could help our town continue to grow.

Biggest problem in this area: Right now it is coronavirus.

Biggest impact I think I’ll be able to make: I hope for a positive impact and being able to encourage everyone I come in contact with.

Candidates for Council Place 4:

  • Jason Vinson

High School: RBHS ’99

Why I want to run: We’ve got a really good group that we work with. I want to make a difference in the city I grew up in and have had business in for years.

Biggest problem in this area: I know a lot of citizens have liked to see more of our streets paved and improved. We are also dealing with concerns from citizens over COVID-19.

Biggest impact I think I’ll be able to make: I’d like to be able to be a voice for all citizens in Red Bay. Anyone can approach me and let me know their opinion about a situation so we can better serve our town.

Candidates for Council Place 5:

  • Brad Bolton

High School: RBHS ’95

Why I want to run: I enjoy serving my community and trying to be a part of a pro-business council that seeks new opportunities, new industries and helps protect the industry we have in town.

Biggest problem in this area: Job creation and continuing to attract industry

Biggest impact I think I’ll be able to make: I try to bring financial background to help aid the city in decisions they make from a financial standing.

RUSSELLVILLE

Candidates for mayor:

  • David Grissom

High School: Russellville High School ’90

Why I want to run: Past success and several ongoing projects that I want to see finished.  There are many positive things taking place in and around Russellville. We continue to add new jobs, continue to improve our infrastructure, continue to improve our city services, and we continue to redevelop our downtown district.

Biggest problem in this area: We continue to face challenges in creating good paying opportunities for our high school graduates. We need more good paying jobs with insurance and retirement opportunities to keep our children and grandchildren here in Russellville. We are also faced with many challenges concerning our city’s infrastructure.

Biggest impact I think I’ll be able to make: I hope to continue to have a positive impact as we move Russellville forward! I’d like to thank the people of the City of Russellville for the confidence they have placed in me! It’s an honor to continue serving the people of my hometown as mayor! I look forward to working with the city council members as we continue to move Russellville forward!

Candidates for Council Place 1:

  • Terry Bolton

High School: Belgreen ’61

Why I want to run: I’m interested in city government and helping the city.

Biggest problem in this area: Education

Biggest impact I think I’ll be able to make: Working with the people

  • David Palmer

High School: Hackleburg ’85

Why I want to run: When I first decided to run we had one of the biggest infrastructure programs in the history of the state of Alabama that was just kicking off, the ATRIP Program. All of the cities and towns all had a really good opportunity to get a lot of money that could be spent toward infrastructure. That’s been eight years ago now. The county engineers across the state knew that this was a great opportunity, so I was concerned about how our county would fare applying for this. The issue was we knew we had the opportunity to get more money than we had the funds to match. I wanted to have the opportunity to bring the City of Russellville and the county commission together to devise a plan that would help us get as much money as possible from this program. My main motivation in running was to be able to bring everyone together for that historic opportunity. We were able to get over $15 million for our county and cities.

Biggest problem in this area: We still have some compliance issues. We have made some improvements, but we still need to improve on cleaning some things up and minimizing the amount of trash and debris that ends up on the side of the street. Also, being able to get more state money for paving, especially dealing with flooding. Due to the excess of rain, issues around the city have been exposed.

Biggest impact I think I’ll be able to make: Being a civil engineer and county engineer with 30 years experience dealing with people at all levels of government makes me familiar with grants and dealing with the people. I’ve been able to do engineering work that has saved the city of Russellville a great deal of money. I think when you can bring that type of experience to the local government and you have the experience to help them and guide them through some of the mazes that are there when it comes to leveraging money and information, to me that is important.

  • Aaron Harbin

High School: RHS ’05

Why I want to run: I felt like I wanted to get involved and do everything I could to help promote the growth of Russellville. I feel like it would be good for us to get some new leadership and have a fresh face.

Biggest problem in this area: I feel like right now Russellville is kind of stuck in a rut and hasn’t had much growth in a while.

Biggest impact I think I’ll be able to make: Being able to jumpstart that growth. You don’t see people staying in Russellville, so I want to do everything I can to encourage people to stay in this town.

Candidates for Council Place 2:

  • William Nale

High School: RHS ’69

Why I want to run: Betterment for the city of Russellville and working on projects that we’ve started and haven’t completed yet

Biggest problem in this area: Homeowners maintaining and keeping up their properties, roads and jobs

Biggest impact I think I’ll be able to make: I’ve been working for another fire station, and I’ve been working on funding for the fire department.

  • Darren Woodruff

High School: N/A

Why I want to run: I am a Russellville native and was raised in District Two. I served as chairman of the Russellville Electric Board for more than four years and served as a board member for six years. I have volunteered with the Russellville City Schools Education Foundation, the Russellville Booster Club and served on the board of the Russellville Dream Center. District Two continues to be underrepresented in city government. District Two has never had a representative on the Russellville City Schools Board of Education. Past council members have failed to give District Two citizens their fair voice and representation. I want to be the first councilman to nominate a District Two resident for the RCS Board of Education.

Biggest problem in this area: The concerns of District Two residents are many. They include numerous drainage and flooding issues, a number of roads and intersections that need to be widened, and there are concerns about speeding in residential areas. District Two needs to be cleaned up. There are many properties overrun with weeds and grass, and those with trash and debris piled up that need to be addressed by city officials.

Biggest impact I think I’ll be able to make: My pledge is to listen to the needs and concerns of District Two residents and represent them accordingly at council meetings. I will be accessible to every resident and will promptly respond to each citizen who contacts me.

Candidates for Council Place 3:

  • Gary Cummings

High School: GED 1970, later attended Northwest-Shoals Junior College

Why I want to run: I just want to help. I’ve been there 16 years.

Biggest problem in this area: We need higher paying jobs with better benefits. We also need more entertainment options.

Biggest impact I think I’ll be able to make: I hope I can be a part of bringing in more jobs. I want to hang onto the jobs we have and add to them.

  • Roy Cornelison *Was not reachable for comment

Candidates for Council Place 4:

  • Dexter Hamilton

High School: RHS ’84

Why I want to run: I was asked by a few people in my community and my church. I feel I can do our district good about some of the issues we have.

Biggest problem in this area: Business, whether it be restaurants or just bringing jobs into our area

Biggest impact I think I’ll be able to make: Improving relations between all races and bringing everyone together with a positive outlook for our city and our community. I will try to work with the rest of the council and districts to bring jobs.

  • Charles Dale

High School: Reedtown ’61

Why I want to run: We need someone in this community to represent everybody, and that’s what I’m going to do. We need a voice in city hall to speak for the community.

Biggest problem in this area: Unifying, people coming together as one

Biggest impact I think I’ll be able to make: Bringing people together and getting on the same page as the tax payers. We need the taxpayers to be able to gain confidence and have confidence in city hall again because citizens have lost that sense of confidence in city hall.

Candidates for Council Place 5:

  • Jamie Harris

High School: Russellville High School ’93

Why I want to run: The two main reasons that I want to run for reelection is that I want Russellville to continue to be a place we are proud to call home. I have three young children in the Russellville school system. I want all our children to love our town as I always have. I want Russellville to be a place our children want to live and raise their family. The second reason is there are several large projects we as a team are working on that will benefit all our residents now and in the future that I would like to see completed.

Biggest problem in this area: I feel that one of the two biggest issues Russellville is facing is the lack of jobs that keep our young people here. Our citizens need opportunities for jobs with high salaries and benefits at home and not 1.5 or two hours away. We are continually working on this issue. Due to our central location between Tupelo and Huntsville and the announcement of Corridor V, we will have four-lane travel to Memphis, Chattanooga and Birmingham. This will help us land an industry tied to the Toyota plants in Huntsville and Tupelo. With all our continued dedication and hard work with this issue along with our geographical location, I truly believe that we will be able to make this a reality.

The second issue is our aging infrastructure. We are continually working on this and looking for grants to help with this problem. An area of improvement regarding this issue is the recently completed Jerry McDuffa Electric Substation on Walnut Gate Road in Russellville. This is a benefit to all our residents and a great tool in recruiting new industry.

Biggest impact I think I’ll be able to make: The impact that I would like to have in the next term is to see the opportunities, projects and ideas mentioned above to be completed. I also want to use our new funding for roads to get the streets paved that were not eligible for the ATRIP grant monies that we were able to secure.

  • Hillary Malone Hall

High School: RHS ’99

Why I want to run: Politics has always been in my family, with my grandfather being mayor and my father being a city councilman. I want to be able to be a public servant for the citizens of Russellville. I want to be able to help anyone and give back to the community. Russellville is near and dear to my heart.

Biggest problem in this area: The infrastructure. District 5 needs lots of roads paved. Along with the roads, bridges and sidewalks need to be repaired. We have to be able to apply for grants and meet those requirements to work to improve our roads. Also, the library is a vital asset to all communities, and ours has been long forgotten. We try to offer a lot, but we could offer so much more with a new library. We also need to continue to promote new and current businesses to make Russellville a go-to location.

Biggest impact I think I’ll be able to make: I want to be able to work alongside our mayor and city councilmen to continue the growth of Russellville and maintain business we do have but also bring in new business and industry. I want to be a councilwoman for District 5, but I also want to be a person anyone across the city can contact and trust. I have also been in banking 24 years, so I believe I will be able to help with maintaining a balanced budget.

VINA

Candidates for mayor:

  • Michael Moomaw

High School: Vina ’86

Why I want to run: I feel a passion for my town and the people who live in it. I want to work toward bringing things to Vina that our people can enjoy, companies that our kids can go to work at, and work toward making it a place that people love and enjoy.

Biggest problem in this area: No jobs and no internet. Without any of that, our school is threatened.

Biggest impact I think I’ll be able to make: From my 29 years working with the town I have different connections with people all over that could come in handy when talking about a grant or anything like that needed to help our town.

  • Brenda Turbyfill *Did not respond to request for comment
  • Marshall Rogers

High School: N/A

Why I want to run: I always thought I’d like to try it to see if I can help the community.

Biggest problem in this area: No internet and no industrial

Biggest impact I think I’ll be able to make: I would like to see some industry come and internet for the kids in the rural part of Franklin County.

Candidates for Council Place 1:

  • Renea Chandler

High School: RBHS ’96

Why I want to run: I enjoy what I do. I love my community. I’m a hard worker, and I love serving my community.

Biggest problem in this area: We have no internet in our community right now. We have no revenue coming in to our town right now, so we need businesses to come in.

Biggest impact I think I’ll be able to make: I’m more experienced, and I’m a hard worker who likes to get out and serve in the community. I’m going to work for anybody that needs me to.

  • Tristan Moomaw

High School: VHS ’20

Why I want to run: I’ve loved Vina my whole life. I just really want to serve the people and help out the community.

Biggest problem in this area: We still need to get stores in

Biggest impact I think I’ll be able to make: It doesn’t matter what age you are to run, so I just want to prove that it doesn’t matter your age as long as you know what you believe in and want to serve your community.

Candidates for Council Place 2:

  • Jeff McCallister * Was not reachable for comment

Candidates for Council Place 3:

  • Luke Childers

High School: Vina 2006

Why I want to run: I teach at Vina and have lived here my whole life.

Biggest problem in this area: No businesses would be the biggest problem at the moment

Biggest impact I think I’ll be able to make: The same as I’ve made as a teacher to help better to try to better themselves and help the community

Candidates for Council Place 4:

  • Deana Vallejo

High School: United Township ’83

Why I want to run: I’ve lived here since 1992. My family is from here, and my mother was on the council before. I organize July Fest every year and have been a firefighter for about 20 years.

Biggest problem in this area: We need jobs brought to Vina.

Biggest impact I think I’ll be able to make: Actually get more people employed and bring more jobs to Vina. We used to be bigger than Red Bay, so it’d be nice to do that again.

  • Wanda Hacker

High School: Belgreen ’72

Why I want to run: I was asked to run, and I’ve been living in town for about five years.

Biggest problem in this area: We need businesses.

Biggest impact I think I’ll be able to make: I’m hoping we can get at least some sort of store here.

Candidates for Council Place 5:

  • Denieta Cantrell

High School: Vina ’88

Why I want to run: I want to serve our citizens and continue to work on getting industry and businesses to come to our town

Biggest problem in this area: Right now, we need businesses for our town.  We are currently in the process of acquiring a new convenience store for the town.

Biggest impact I think I’ll be able to make: Securing businesses for our town so that our younger generation will be able to stay here and not have to move away to find jobs.

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