The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

October 30, 2012

Election 2012: Q&A with license commissioner candidate Ronnie Coffman

The News Courier

— • Name: Ronnie G. Coffman

• Age: 55

• Occupation: Registered Land Surveyor in Alabama and Tennessee

• Education: Elkmont High School, Limestone County Area Vocational Technical Center, and apprentice land surveyor from 1975 to 1986.

• Previous political experience: Candidate for 4th Legislative District in 1998, Republican nominee for 5th Legislative District in 2002, Republican nominee for 5th Legislative District in 2006, past secretary of the Limestone County Republican Executive Committee, past vice-chairman of the Limestone County Republican Executive Committee, present chairman of the Limestone County Republican Executive Committee, present member of the Alabama Republican Executive Committee, associate member of Republican Women of Limestone County (AFRW), and past alternate delegate for George W. Bush in 2000 at the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia, Pa.

• Community Involvement: Active member at Lindsay Lane Baptist Church, member of Lindsay Lane Worship Choir, AWANA Leader, and member of Gideon’s International.

• Personal: Wife, Regina L. Coffman; children, Christopher Eugene Coffman, Joshua Clem Coffman, and Jenna Elisabeth Coffman; granddaughter, Emily Rae Coffman, and grandson on the way.

The News Courier: Do you feel your political party affiliation has any bearing on the duties of a license commissioner? Why or why not? 

Ronnie Coffman: I believe that party affiliation has no bearing on the duties of the license commissioner’s office but political philosophy does matter.

Democratic candidates when they qualified signed a document that certified that they believe in the principles of the Democratic Party. Some of those principles voted on unanimously by the Alabama delegation at the Democratic National Convention were to support taxpayer-funded abortion, gay marriage, Obamacare and the removal of God from the platform.

Also, the Democratic ballot “I do pledge myself to abide by the result of the Primary Election and to aid and support the Nominees thereof in the ensuing General Election.” Ask yourself why any conservative voter would support a candidate who pledged their support for Barack Obama.

NC: An issue brought up by one of the candidates has been to add a satellite license office that will serve the growing East Limestone area. Do you feel this is a wise use of county funds, and how do you propose to pay for this office? 

Coffman: Limestone County has increased in population by about 20,000 residents in the past 12 years. The license commissioner’s office has not kept up with the increase in population. Based on Limestone County’s population, the average number of employees to keep up with the workload should be 20 employees; I believe the current staff is 13 employees. The increased revenue alone should be enough, because of population growth, to pay for a satellite office.

If we have increased revenue, then some of the money should be used to benefit their citizens. Money will be used wisely, growing businesses have to expand, and it’s time to expand the license commissioner’s office.

NC: What do you feel are the primary duties of the license commissioner and why do you feel you are qualified to carry out those duties? Please be specific.

Coffman: The primary duties of the commissioner of licenses are to collect and issue all licenses for exercising any rights or privileges for which license is required, including, but not limited to, hunting license, driver’s license, licenses for motor vehicles, business licenses and any and all other licenses which are now or which may hereafter be required by law.

The commissioner of licenses shall also receive for the assessing and collecting of state and county ad valorem taxes on motor vehicles the same fees, charges, and commissioners fixed by law to be paid to tax assessors and tax collectors for like services and paid into the general fund of the county, except as otherwise herein provided.

As for why I am qualified, I believe that my experience in the private sector of running my own business has prepared me for the responsibilities of running the license commissioner’s office.

NC: Explain why voters should choose you as license commissioner over your opponent?

Coffman: My opponent has been in this position for the past 24 years, and I believe it’s time for some fresh ideas on how to improve the license commissioner’s office.

I will treat the license commissioner’s office like a business. As a small business owner, I know what it is like to work 60 hours a week, operate a business on a shoestring budget, train employees, set goals and work with the public.

All good leaders should have a vision. My vision for this office is to open a satellite office, extended hours of service at the end of each month and Saturday service once or twice a month to make it more convenient for you the taxpayer.