By Jean Cole
At age 30, Seth Parker is the youngest of the men vying for the District 1 seat on the Limestone County Commission, though there are officially four more days for would-be candidates to qualify for the June 3 primary election.
Parker is a bit of an early bloomer. The 2001 graduate of Elkmont High School has been a business owner since age 17, when he bought and sold items on eBay. By age 19, he had earned a real estate license. Today, he manages his real estate office, Level 10 Realty; he has 15 years of experience in the technology industry; he and his wife, Natosha, founded Parkers Studios, an architectural photography company; and he also designs Internet web pages.
The web page he created for his candidacy is slick. It features a series of panels that outline Parker’s goals as a candidate.
One shows a close up of a pothole on Slate Road in Elkmont with the caption: “Look familiar…I’ll fix that.” It also includes a link to his road-repair plan.
Another panel shows Parker standing in front of an American flag with the caption: “Are you tired of terrible roads, wasteful spending and poor decisions?” It includes a link to his plan for Limestone.
A third panel shows Parker in from of the Limestone County Courthouse with the caption: “I will fight to get the funding our district and county deserve.” It includes a link to his funding plan.
Among his reasons for running …
“I feel I have a unique set of skills to offer,” Parker said Friday, after officially qualifying with the Limestone County Republican Party and filing his paperwork in the Probate Judge’s Office. He must defeat fellow Republicans James Shannon, Daryl Sammet and Tom Combs in the June 3 primary and then win the Nov. 4 general election. So far, there are no Democratic challengers for the District 1 seat.
Parker shared the four-point plan he would try to implement, if elected:
• Improve road and roadside repairs. After researching the matter, Parker said he believes the county could make more lasting road repairs, such as cutting potholes square before filling them and other longer-lasting, cost-effective repairs. The key, he said, is acquiring the state and federal grants needed to make these projects happen. He also believes the county could do a better job of keeping roadsides cut;
• Improve communication. Specifically, he said he has created a Facebook page for residents to report a problem or make a suggestion any time of day or on weekends;
• Curb wasteful spending. He believes the county could do this by making better choices, particularly with regards to property and renovations;
• Recruit business. Parker said he would work with the commission chairman and fellow commissioners to try to recruit new businesses and help existing businesses.
If he could get one message across to voters, Parker said he would ask them to raise their expectations.
“Commissioners are responsible for the roads, but economic growth and budget control play a huge role, too,” he said, noting the commission has a yearly budget of more than $30 million.
“I think the people should expect more from their commissioner,” he said.
Parker said, in some ways, he would like the county to run more like a business.
“Our county needs to bring in economic development that can make our county the way we want it to be,” he said. “The more money we bring in, the more money we are allowed to budget and spend to make our lives a little better.”