Riley’s appointment give us all confidence

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 15, 2003

In some professions, being worrisome is a whole lot safer than being overconfident. Worrying about something being right makes for a better bet than just believing the right thing will happen.

In the profession of politics, it takes a touch of both: Worry that your ideas get passed, but don’t lose your sense of confidence.

Here in Demopolis and Marengo County, we’ve played our own game of politics for the past six months.

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When Bob Riley and Don Siegelman asked for our vote, most of us asked what each of the men would do for us. We wondered who would take care of our governmental needs the best, and we voted accordingly.

Many of us feared a Riley administration because the former U.S. Representative had not visited our city.

Earlier this week, Riley did a lot to ease our concerns. In fact, he may have made a much greater step toward helping the Black Belt that any of us ever imagined.

The hiring of Neal Wade as the director of the Alabama Development Office is more than good news to us in Marengo County. Riley’s appointment signifies that our area of the state hasn’t been forgotten. And going one step further, Wade’s appointment may mean that Riley does have his sights set on the Black Belt.

Neal Wade has a wealth of experience in the economic development world. As head of the ADO, Wade will be responsible for bringing new business and industry to the state, and his experience will serve him greatly.

More important for us, though, is that Wade is a native son. He’s from our part of the state, and he understands the needs of a struggling rural county. Monroe County, where Wade once lived, is but a short drive away.

Over his career, Wade has heard and seen it all. He’s recruited industries from Japan and Germany, and he’s brought those industries here.

During his tenure as vice president of a Florida real estate company, Wade also helped direct most of the wealth in the Sunshine state.

His experience will help Wade understand just how impoverished Alabama’s Black Belt really is. He’ll know that we need help, and we can expect him to offer assistance whenever we ask.

According to Kathy Leverett, head of the Demopolis Chamber of Commerce, Wade has been a frequent visitor to our city, and he understands the needs of Demopolis and Marengo County.

Understanding the intricacies of politics can lead to worry more often than over-confidence. By our own admission, we worried that Gov.-elect Riley might skip over our part of the state.

With his appointment of Neal Wade, we believe Riley has the best of intentions for west Alabama, and we publicly thank him for making such an excellent decision.