Touting productive working relationships and millions of dollars in local projects, incumbent Place 2 Cullman County Commissioner Stanley Yarbrough is seeking another four-year term.
Yarbrough is facing a field of four other candidates for the West Side associate commissioner seat in the June 3 primary. Gary Marchman, James Graves, J.P. White and Doug Williams are running against Yarbrough for the Republican nomination, with the winner unopposed in Nov. 3 general election. There are no Democratic candidates.
Yarbrough said he was elected in 2010 with a goal to maintain the county’s Road Department within a budget. He said when he took office, the department was spending $1.5 million to $2 million over a budget annually. He and fellow Commissioner Darrell Hicks, serving Place 1 (East Side), converted the department to the unit system, and after which, it has been operating in the black and saved taxpayers a million dollars a year.
“Last year, the Road Department paved 14.7 miles with asphalt,” Yarbrough said. “The West Side paved 10.2 miles and East Side 4.5 miles.”
As commissioner, Yarbrough said he was involved in, along with state representatives, the acquisition of a new interstate interchange at County Road 222 in Good Hope. He said the project is expected to go to bid this year. By working with state Sen. Paul Bussman, R- Cullman, the county was awarded $12 million in Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program (ATRIP) funds for county roads and bridges.
Another goal Yarbrough said he’s accomplished while in office was to keep the $30 million County Water Department from being given away. He said the commission did just that by signing an agreement to build Duck River Damn in 2011. The county also approved the installation of a water line to Petro in Dodge City, which created 50 new jobs.
While on the commission, the county hired a fleet manager at the County Garage. The county had been spending $500,000 a year on outside fleet maintenance.
“The in-house maintenance saves the county $500,000 plus brings in $80,000 in additional revenue,” he said.
Yarbrough said other notable accomplishments during his time on the commission include hiring a full-time County Attorney to advise county officials, which saves thousands of dollars in lawsuits. The commission also acquired 18 community storm shelters and 250 residential shelters with federal funds. He said the commission has maintained an excellent working relationship with the City of Cullman as well as all the other municipalities of the county along with the state and federal delegations.
“The three-member commission has worked together for the last two years as one voice,” Yarbrough said. “The unity of the commission working together makes it easier to work with the state and federal delegation to bring revenue to Cullman County.”
He added: “If elected, I will continue to move Cullman County forward, and I will continue to work with local, state and federal government for the betterment of the county.”
* Tiffeny Owens can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 256-734-2131, ext. 135.