Hargett, Massey seek Dist. 3 commission seatPublished 6:05am Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Editor’s Note: Getting to know your candidate will be a weekly feature informing you about our local candidates leading to the November general election. This week’s featured candidates are seeking the local office of county commissioner in District 3.
Randy Hargett edged out the competition to win the Democratic nod for the county commission District 3 seat in the spring and will now face Republican candidate Rayburn Massey in the general election on November 6.
Hargett is a lifelong resident of Franklin County who was raised in the Belgreen community and currently resides in the Dempsey community.
Hargett served on the Franklin County Board of Education from 1998 – 2004 and he said that experience allows him to better understand the needs the county is facing.
“I have seen first hand not only the educational challenges facing our county school system but also the economic and social issues that are facing our county presently,” Hargett said.
“From 2000 to 2010 our county population only grew about 1.5 percent. Our unemployment rate continues to be at or near the national average.
“The people of Franklin County are hard working people and I believe they deserve to see more opportunities available to them. I am willing to work diligently to make good things happen for Franklin County.”
Hargett said he understood that during these tough economic times, funding for each of the county’s departments would be an ongoing challenge but if elected, he plans to work with each department and take on the responsibility of making sure each way to improve is explored.
“Our 33rd President Harry Truman kept a sign on his desk that said ‘The Buck Stops Here,’ meaning there was no one else to pass the responsibility on to,” Hargett said. “I believe that if a person is going to serve the public then that person should take the responsibility for how he or she votes and the position he or she takes on the issues.
“It is very important for the county commissioner to find out as much as possible about the issues he or she is voting on before making any decisions. I will keep the public’s best interest in mind and I will always try to make the best policies to benefit our citizens.”
Hargett said the county road system will probably always be one of the greatest areas of concern for the citizens of Franklin County and while there are several ways to obtain funding for road projects, Hargett said the best solution is to see growth in the county both numerically and economically.
“The only way I see to help our county grow and to keep our people here is to provide jobs, and I believe either bringing new jobs to our county or expanding our existing industries will help our county gain the stability it needs,” he said.
“I am willing to work hand in hand with our Economic Development Authority to seek out prospective business and to help create our own home-grown businesses. I believe this can be done with a great degree of success if everyone is willing to put in the time and effort.”
Hargett graduated from Belgreen High School in 1976 and from Shoals Community College in 1978.
He and his wife, Rita, have been married for 33 years. They have a son, Brent Hargett, and a daughter, Kelli Hargett. He is employed with Packaging Corporation of America, in Counce, Tenn.
Massey is no stranger to the political arena. He served as a county commissioner from 2004 to 2008 and said he was ready to take on the responsibility once again to serve the people of Franklin County.
“Being a county commissioner is important because they must make wise decisions to ensure that the county is in compliance with state and federal mandates such as providing an animal shelter, jail facilities, a waste disposal department and a road and bridge program that ensures the safety of travel for citizens and school buses. They also do an annual budget to provide services to the citizens of Franklin County by spending their tax dollars wisely.
“I’m seeking this office to serve all Franklin County residents with honesty, dependability and accountability without showing partiality to any person or group because I want to ensure Franklin County remains a great place to live, work and raise a family.”
Massey said his experience being a county commissioner for four years as well as his 36 years of experience in public work make him the most qualified for the position.
“I have experience supervising a department with 50 plus people, overseeing and implementing multi-million dollar projects, operating the department within a budget, ensuring proper upkeep and maintenance of equipment and handling every day personnel issues,” he said.
“If elected, I hope to work hand in hand with school officials and educators, economic development, county department heads, cities and towns and their respective mayors and councils and volunteer groups such as rescue squads and fire departments to ensure the needs of Franklin County are met. I hope working hand in hand and being a team player with these groups will allow us to move forward to meet the much needed objectives.”
Massey was born in Franklin County to the late Matthew and Lou Ella Massey. He graduated from Belgreen High School and obtained a diploma in instrumentation and electronics at Calhoun Jr. College. He also has an FAA licensed mechanic degree from Hamilton Technical School.
Massey has been married to Brenda Stepp Massey for 44 years. They have two children including their daughter, Crista Madden, and her husband, Jeff Madden; and their son, Jeff Massey, and his wife, Tara Massey.
He has four grandchildren: Kody and Darby Madden and Madelyn and Reagan Massey.
“I’ve lived most of my life in Franklin County where we raised our children and where they attended and graduated from school. I am a Christian and attend church regularly.
“I enjoyed serving the people of Franklin County during my previous term. I’m proud to have been a part of implementing the GIS program, acquiring the Mike Green Industrial Park and the first community storm shelter in Franklin County at Vina.
“If elected, I would proudly serve the people of Franklin County again with honesty and integrity.”