Four seek open county post


With current Precinct 4 commissioner Sam Cole bowing out, four people have stepped up to replace him on the Madison County Commissioners' Court
All four candidates, as with all local races in the March primary, are Republicans.
Applications for mail-in ballots are being taken, and early voting opens Tuesday at locations at the Madison County Courthouse or the North Zulch School.

Robbie Holder
Looking to follow in her parents' footsteps, Robbie Andrus Holder is looking to become a legacy commissioner.
"I've been here forever, born and raised in Madison County," she said. "I work for Monterey Mushrooms as a security guard, have for 15 years."
While it's her first time to run for office, it's not the first time around county business; Holder said both her father and mother were county commissioners for Precinct 4.
"My qualification is the knowledge of what's going on in the county," she said. "I don't have a lot of experience other than what I've learned from my parents. I've gone out with my parents while working on roads; when trees were down or there was a problem, I would go and help them. I know what the roads need, and I've been around enough to understand all that."
Holder said she has worked in every department at Monterey - security, safety, and even human resources. She has done accounting and budget work in her current position, as well as budgets and scheduling.
She said she would like to implement new ideas to improve the roads in the county.
"My goals are to make sure roads are crowned right," Holder said. "I want to put ditches on the sides, and because people in the precinct are complaining about it, I want to knock the dust down on county roads."
At the end of a term, Holder said the plan is to have people confident enough to keep her in that position.
"I want to get in there and keep taxes down, because people can't pay a lot of taxes," she said. "I want to be there for the people, and want them to be open to me, come to me with ideas or suggestions. I'm for the people."

George Hartsfield
Precinct 1 road hand and former business owner George Hartsfield said he wants to serve the people in a way they've never been served before, and to make sure their voices will be heard.
"I want to focus on budgeting and funding for Precinct 4, and focus on the roads," he said. "I don't feel like this is just a Precinct 4 job; I feel like this is all of the county. It's a team effort, but it's not like that now."
Hartsfield got into the race after urging from his neighbors, who he said don't like the way things have been run. To do that, though, Hartsfield said he needed more experience, and became an employee for the Precinct 1 Road and Bridge Department.
"My true feelings are that if anyone that does not have the business, or management, or road work experience has no business running for such an important position in Madison County government," he said. "I will be a working commissioner, working side by side with my employees."
Hartsfield said he has owned a construction company for 20 years, and for the last 10 years he operated it as 30 days same as cash, which means knowing how to budget and keep things within that budget. His career also has seen him as a deputy sheriff and a prison transport officer, part of his philosophy of serving the people.
"I have been endorsed by many Madison County business owners who understand the importance of this position, and the need to understand how it operates," he said. "I would hope after four years the people would say I'm the best commissioner they've ever had."

Lynn Standley
Although this is his first time running for an elected position, Lynn Standley, a lifelong resident of the county, is hoping to improve Precinct 4 and Madison County as a whole.
"I'm currently a sergeant at the jail," he said. "I know from working there what the courts have to do, what the commissioners have to do. I think people don't realize what people in law enforcement personnel go through, through laws and regulations, and the county as a whole should be educated on the responsibilities of the employees."
One area of concern Standley hopes to focus on is the high turnover in county departments, especially at the jail, which he believes is because of salaries.
"We're a training ground," he said. "People come here, get experience, and move on. Jailers start out at one pay level, but can make more going to work for Buc-ee's. My goal is to get salaries up to the level of surrounding counties at least."
Another area of commissioner responsibility is the Road Department, an area of importance to Standley.
"There's no doubt that people want to keep their vehicles nice, so we have to improve and maintain our roads," he said. "I want to clean up the roads as well, perhaps getting a work crew to pick up trash, and then put an end to people dumping illegally - make Precinct 4 a place people want to move to."
At the end of the day, Standley said he wants to help people.
"I'd like to be able to help the people in my district that are unable to do things for themselves," he said. "I would hope that people will see that I did work. I want to help improve everything I possibly can and make things better."

David Pohorelsky
Long-time resident David Pohorelsky has heard complaints, mostly about county roads, so he decided to get involved.
"Everybody's gripe is the county roads," he said. "I want to get those in line. They cost people a lot of money, and everything that drives down them needs to be fixed. That's my main goal."
While working at his full-time job, and having worked in the oil field for 25 years, Pohorelsky found issues with roads, and general management at the county as well, and plans to use his expertise to build better roads.
"I want to see if I can make a difference," he said. "I can make a county road a whole lot better; however, in politics, I'm going in with wet feet. But I I want to listen to the people and find out what they need, and go from there."
Pohorelsky said he plans do everything efficiently as well as cost-effectively.
"I want people to say I'm a good commissioner," he said. "I'm an honest man, and if I tell you I will do something, I will do it. People will need patience, because it will take a lot to get the roads back in order."