Occupation: Private contractor, crop insurance with USDA 33 years, now retired
Education: John C. Calhoun, 1972; Auburn University, BS 1974; Auburn University, MS 1976
Military service: U.S. Army National Guard, 1969-1975
Political experience: Athens City Council 1992-2004; Solid Waste Authority 1992-2004; Schedule C political appointment
Community involvement: Lindsay Lane Baptist Church, mission trips, volunteer on projects and helping others, Alabama Wildlife Federation, National Wild Turkey Federation, Ducks Unlimited and National Rifle Association
Personal: Wife, Mary Kay Dean Crawford; son, Matthew Dean Crawford
Having previously served on the City Council, running a campaign is nothing new for Crawford.
“It’s a lot of work and you’re always second-guessing yourself,” he said. “You’ve just got to believe you did the best you could do, and let the voters decide what they want.”
Since the Aug. 28 election, Crawford has been hearing concerns from residents, most of which involve how the city will generate revenue in the future. He said people realize decreasing revenues will be a concern in the future, especially with the specter of defense cuts at Redstone Arsenal looming because of sequestration.
With the potential of revenues decreasing, he said, it’s more important now than ever that Athens citizens shop at home.
“We’ve got to have more retail, and quality retail,” he said. “You’ve got the economy potentially slowing down, and it will have an impact on us. We need to talk to people who are familiar with how to get retail in and see what kind of return on our money we’ll have.”
When asked about the possibility of raising sales or property taxes, Crawford said he has not had a chance to sit down and look at revenue reports and trends. However, he added that he would not support a measure to raise an estimated $4 million in revenue through a one-cent increase if the city’s needs are less than $1 million.
“So often, you get extra money and buy new stuff instead of fixing what we’ve got,” he said. “There are some things that have to be looked at, and I’m not in a position now to support (a tax increase). I’m a very conservative person, and you have to show me why you need the money and what you’re going to do with it.”
When asked if he would be disappointed if the council decides to raise the sales tax before new council members are sworn in, Crawford simply said the council has “the authority to do what they think is best.”
Crawford described Seibert as “a good young man,” but added he doesn’t have the experience.
“I won’t have a learning curve,” he said. “When I threw my hat in the ring, my concerns were revenues in this economy, how we’re going to get by and tighten up. I make tough decisions and have made those because sometimes that’s what you have to do.”