Engineer, businessman Philip Widner running for commission chairman

Philip Widner (contributed)

CULLMAN, Ala. – Philip Widner has announced his candidacy for Cullman County Commission Chairman. Widner is one of three Republican hopefuls challenging Chairman Kenneth Walker in the 2020 primary election. Also running are Jeff Clemons and Wiley Kitchens.

Since no Democrats qualified to run for the position, the winner of the March 3, 2020 primary will win the election.

Widner told the Tribune in a prepared statement:

Chairman Philip Widner has qualified as a Republican candidate in the upcoming 2020 election for the Cullman County Commission. Philip is a lifelong resident of Cullman County, graduating from Fairview High School in 1980. He attended Wallace State Community College and the University of Alabama-Birmingham where he received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering including studies in business management and finance.

After college Philip began working in government management and engineering overseeing transportation, sanitation, public works and other various departments. He spent several of those years as the engineer for Cullman County. Philip has also farmed, raising cattle and poultry, and currently co-owns a business in the city of Cullman.

County engineers statewide elected Philip as president of the Alabama County Engineers Association (ACEA) in 2006. He has served on numerous boards and committees during his career, including the Alabama County Commissioners Board of Directors, the ACEA Board of Directors and the Alabama Transportation Advisory Committee. He is also a licensed engineer in the state of Alabama.

“My wife Lynda and I have worked over 25 years in county government,” Widner said. “We have been blessed with three children, Dillon (26), Ethan (23) and Haley (23), all college graduates. I am thankful to have grown up and raised my children in one of the greatest places on earth. This is my way of giving back to the place where at least six generations of my family have lived. It has been said that if you really want something, the possibilities are endless. I want the opportunity to show the citizens of this county how good our roads and other essential government services can be with our current level of funding and most importantly, without raising taxes.”

Widner said, “This position requires improved management of our existing tax dollars allowing people to keep the money they work for. I will not support nor vote for a tax increase or increases for government services. Additional taxes are not the solution to the current financial issues we are facing. The solution is to get wasteful spending under control and be better managers of available funds. When, and only when, we get our financial house in order will our county begin to move forward and adequately provide the services we are being taxed for and should already be receiving. We need proven leadership in place that has the experience, education and capability to bring our county forward. Help me help our county. Your vote and support are appreciated.”

Widner talked about problems with Cullman County road conditions, saying he wants to formulate a workable plan for Cullman County roads, something he feels doesn’t currently exist.

“Right now, there’s no plan to it and it just doesn’t seem like it wants to get any better from the top,” he said. “I see the need for better management and planning.”

Widner feels he is the person who can do that.

“We need to be pushing 125-150 miles of roads a year if we are doing it right. I just think we need to better use our existing taxes and quit asking people for more money than what they work for.”

Widner said he would also like to implement a fleet management program to better manage the County’s vehicles and equipment.

Another issue that is near and dear to Widner’s heart is Cullman’s senior community. He is concerned about the quality of homebound meals and hopes to improve the services and activities available for all our Cullman area seniors.

Widner asks voters to follow Philip Widner for Chairman of Cullman County Commission on Facebook to learn more about his vision for Cullman County and announcements.

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