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Roger Williams believes some may remember when county commissioners did not always have such a high title. Years ago, they were simply called road commissioners, he said.
“It was not that they had only one job, but maintaining the roads was such an important part of what they did that it was all of what we called them,” Williams said. “Our commissioners still have to keep our county roads repaired, but their newer title tells them that we expect more than that.”
Williams is a candidate for District 2 Limestone County Commissioner. He said he is unhappy with some of the things current county commissioners are doing, and residents should be, too.
“I am unhappy that they have not established a good working relationship with cities from other counties that have incorporated in Limestone County,” Williams said. “Failing to do so has created confusion about road maintenance, has allowed problems created by a local rock quarry to go unresolved and has complicated jurisdictional questions.”
Furthermore, he's unhappy about the Commission's decision not to provide $30,000 in funding to the Athens-Limestone Public Library, saying they "punished the people of our county" as a result.
“Rather than dealing with the problem directly, like responsible officials, they instead took $30,000 used to provide services to us, their constituents, out of the library’s budget. On top of that, they were wrong," he said. "A review by the library’s Board of Trustees found no fault with the library staff or the way the staff handled budget issues and money.”
He noted the same treatment was not given to the Limestone County Sheriff's Office, saying the Commission "failed to see issues ... that led to criminal charges. A jury will decide whether the charges are justified, but what brought them on certainly should have attracted the attention of the people responsible for looking out after our interests."
It's that same duty to look out for residents' interests that contributes to his unhappiness with the commissioners' relationships with corporations that want to build in Limestone County.
“I love new jobs, but I know they don’t come free,” he said. “If it meets its promises, the Toyota-Mazda plant will bring new jobs and new people into our community. The new people will need new and improved roads, more water and electricity, trash pickup and sewer services, more classrooms with teachers and janitors and administrators. They will need more police and fire protection.”
But, he wonders, how will all of that happen, when will it happen, is anyone really planning for it, how much will it cost, and who is paying for it?
“How much money are Toyota and Mazda putting in?” he said. “Not their employees, but the companies. They are the ones who will make hundreds of millions of dollars from the plant. How much money will we put in out of our own pockets, and how much of the job will just not get done? Have you heard from your commissioner about any of this? Don’t you think you should?”
If elected, he plans to put his years of experience representing North Alabama workers to good use as District 2's county commissioner. Williams previously served as a shop steward for the United Auto Workers of Delphi.
“I helped them fight for decent pay and working conditions,” he said. “I helped defend them when their employer did not treat them fairly. I did not get that job because someone gave it to me. I got it because the people elected me. That made them my bosses, and their interests my interests. I never forgot that, and I never let them down. I will treat you the same way.”
“Do you have someone on the Commission who will ask the questions and find the answers important to you?” Williams asked. “You will if you elect me. Vote for Roger Williams on Nov. 3.”
Visit www.williams4d2commissioner.com to find out more.