I really think the citizens need to go out and hear who they are voting for before they vote. You can’t just go with a name, you need to hear them and hear what they have to say; compare them with the others.”Diane Brown, CCRW president
CULLMAN – The Cullman Chapter of the Alabama Federation of Republican Women (CCRW) hosted a candidate forum on Tuesday night, Jan. 12 at Cullman’s VFW Post 2214. Current Cullman County Commission Chair Kenneth Walker and his challengers, Eric Parker and Darrell Hicks, addressed the crowd.
Numbers were drawn, and Parker, owner of Payroll Services, LLC, was the first to speak.
“I would like to make a big difference in Cullman County,” he began. “What I would like to do when I am elected and go into office is I would like to try and figure out the budget a little better. I want to go through it, line by line, and cut wasteful spending. I firmly believe there is money out there we can make things better with from the roads to the water system and so on. I want to serve the people of Cullman County.”
After answering a few questions, Parker took a seat and Hicks, retired agriculture teacher, took the podium.
Hicks said that, if elected, he plans to increase the miles of roads paved each year and will support communities and senior centers. He will work to complete Hwy. 157 and the St. Bernard four-lane. He also wants to begin planning for a new judicial building and finish the shooting range to meet standards.
“The Lord has blessed me and my family tremendously,” Hicks said. “Cullman County has provided a lot of opportunities for me and my family. You’ve heard the old saying, actually paraphrased from St. Luke, ‘Much has been given to you, and much is expected in return.’ I feel like, even at my age I still have some contribution that I can make to Cullman County.”
Last up was Walker. He began by updating everyone on current projects underway throughout the county. He spoke at length about current road conditions and the various ways to repair and repave roads in the county. He also explained a few ways he has saved the Commission money during his term.
“When I ran last time, I wanted a 90-day reserve,” Walker stated. “Well, I got some good news today. When I took office in November 2012, we had a 60-day reserve. We got our November sales tax today and I got a report that shows I got a 90-day reserve with a million extra dollars going to the Road Department on the budget in 2016.
“I want to continue to move Cullman County forward. I ask for your prayers, your support and your vote,” he added.
“I thought tonight went great,” said Diane Brown, CCRW president. “I really think the citizens need to go out and hear who they are voting for before they vote. You can’t just go with a name, you need to hear them and hear what they have to say; compare them with the others. I would also like to encourage people to come out on the second Tuesday of next month and listen to what the school board candidates have to say.”
All three candidates lingered and spoke one-on-one with attendees.
The CCRW’s next forum, with candidates for the Cullman County School Board, will be on Feb. 9 at 6 p.m. at the VFW, located at 112 Veterans Drive SW.