Garrard announces candidacy for revenue commissionerPublished 7:05pm Sunday, February 16, 2014
Former Franklin County revenue commissioner Don Garrard has announced his intent to seek election to the same office he previously held from 2003 to 2009.
Garrard has spent most of his adult life in Franklin County where he is a member of the VFW Post 5184 of Russellville, Alabama Cattlemen’s Association, First United Methodist Church of Russellville, and he helped organize and was a charter member and president of the Russellville Bass Club.
Garrard and his wife, Ann, have reared four children. Their daughter, Michelle G. James, wife of Ricky James, is a second grade teacher at Russellville West Elementary. Ricky is a technical support engineer at Adtran. Their daughter, Melanie G. Calvert, teaches history at Muscle Shoals Middle School. Their son, Jon Garrard, is a manager at SCA Tissue in Barton. His wife, the former Theresa Moss, works in the special education department for Franklin County Schools. Their son, Jeff Garrard, is a physician specializing in Family Practice and Sports Medicine in Huntsville. His wife, Ricia, is a physical therapist. The Garrards have nine grandchildren, with another on the way.
Garrard comes from humble beginnings being the 10th child in a family of 14. He was raised on a farm and said he knows what hard work is.
He graduated from high school in 1963 and married Ann Wilson in 1965. He served his country in the U.S. Army from 1966 until 1968, including a tour of duty in Vietnam. He was in the middle of the TET offensive in 1968.
After returning home, Garrard entered college using the GI Bill. Having a family to support, he went to school three days and worked three days a week. After receiving his degree in Business Administration, Garrard went to work for the Lee Company as a management trainee in January 1972. In July 1974, he was promoted to manager of the Russellville plant and eventually became the Southeast Division Manager of Lee/Wrangler/VF until closure of all Southeastern manufacturing plants in February 2002.
“I am no stranger to handling budgets,” Garrard said. “In 2002, my budget for the Southeastern Division was in excess of $82 million dollars, and we ran a favorable budget every year.”
Garrard was elected and served the people of Franklin County as the revenue commissioner from October 1, 2003 to September 30, 2009 when he decided not to seek re-election for health reasons.
“As many of you know, I experienced a life-threatening emergency colon surgery, possibly as a result of exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam,” Garrard said.
“This resulted in liver failure followed by a liver transplant and complications leading to other surgeries.
“During this time of critical illness, I was still able to drive myself to the courthouse for work and complete my duties and full term as revenue commissioner. All of this was accomplished with the excellent professional help of devoted and dedicated staff members. During this time, I was also blessed with the support of family, friends, community, and the grace of God.
“I am now in excellent health and am ready once again to serve the people of Franklin County as your revenue commissioner.”
Garrard said there are several basic principles he will employ if elected as revenue commissioner.
“I will be a good team player by working hard to make our revenue commissioner’s office the best it can be,” he said. “I will work hand-in-hand with all elected officials and you, the public, to achieve this goal. I will attend county meetings, and I will assist in any way that I can to make Franklin County a good place to live and work.”
Garrard said he would also be accessible.
“I will be available to the people of Franklin County,” he said. “I will operate with an Open Door Policy and offer service second to none.
“I will also be consistent. All decisions will be consistent with policies and procedures of the revenue commissioner’s office, and every person will be treated fairly.
“I am dedicated to you, the people, and will work hard every day to provide you with the best service in the state.
“My slogan is ‘Responsible Leadership’ and that means accountability to the people of Franklin County.
“Please remember me when you cast your vote for revenue commissioner on June 3, 2014.”