By: Ali Elizabeth Turner
Danny Barksdale has lived in Limestone County all his life, save for the four years he served our country in the US Army, where he specialized in communications preparation, encryption, and transmission during the latter part of the Cold War. He was stationed in Turkey, and also served the National Security Agency in Alaska, as well as at Ft. Meade, Maryland. He got his degree in business administration from Montevallo University, and much of his career was in facilitating the management of the finances of the companies for which he worked. It was there that he learned that “fiscal fitness” is something that any company, household, or government agency must embrace if they are going to survive, let alone flourish.
As a man of faith, Danny was prayerful about his decision to run for the District 2 position, and his over-arching desire is to see to it that the tax dollars of Limestone County residents are used prudently and proactively. That means that public funds are consistently used well, the citizens get their money’s worth on any project, and there is transparency throughout. The following are Danny’s thoughts regarding his vision for serving as Commissioner from District 2:
The position of ‘Road Commissioner’ has changed over the years. We have, and rightly so, dropped the ‘Road’ part of the title. Maintaining our roads is only one important part of what the County Commission does. They now also manage $40 million in revenue and a $15 million general fund budget. They allocate funds for each county department and plan for future growth and services.
While the administrative functions of county government are not as obvious to us in our daily lives as the current condition of our roads, they are just as critical to the future growth, development, and quality of life in Limestone County. What is often overlooked is that poor management today equals worse roads and worse problems for the future. If we want better roads in the future, we need fiscally responsible leadership now.
A County Commission candidate should be evaluated on management skills, their vision for the future, and a heart to serve the people, as well as road conditions. A good example of this is the County’s purchase of unnecessary property like the L&S Shopping Center, and expensive building projects like the Event Center. This money could have, and should have, been used for roads, or to prepare for future needs. Unnecessary spending has landed Limestone County over $15 million in debt, and in a poor position for future growth.
As we move forward, Limestone County will be facing a whole new set of problems with Huntsville moving into Limestone County. Additional infrastructure needs and issues related to population growth will become more and more important. We should not lose sight of the bigger picture. Additional needs will put more stress on the county budget. Our County Commission will need to look for ways to cut costs, spend wisely, and eliminate waste. There is not a government entity in the world that does not have waste, and Limestone County is no exception.
A good steward of taxpayer funds means that an elected official is as frugal with government money as they are with their own. Too often, it is forgotten that county tax money comes from the single mom working hard to put food on the table, the farmer working 15 hour days, and the factory worker that is looking for overtime just to make ends meet. Unlike government, they must cut costs, spend wisely, and eliminate waste. It is time that Government learned from their example. If Limestone County manages their spending wisely, there will be no need for County debt and there will be no need to raise taxes. That should be our goal.
If elected, some of the other things Danny would like to implement include:
- Holding Commission meetings in the evenings, much like the City of Athens, so that more citizens could attend. Also, providing internet live-streaming of all meetings to ensure transparency.
- Improving roads and infrastructure in District 2, as well as throughout the county, in order to get ahead of and manage well the growth that is coming to our area.
- Planning for schools and other community services.
- Having a plan for the future that is well-organized, avoids costly mistakes, and prevents the county from going further into debt.
If these are the kinds of changes you would like to see in District 2 as well as throughout Limestone County, then Danny Barksdale is humbly requesting your vote in the Primary on March 3. For more information, give Danny a call at 256-431-1477, or visit his Facebook page at Danny Barksdale for County Commission.
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner