Wallace seeks to give service to the city

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 25, 2004

DEMOPOLIS – Running a city shouldn’t be much different that running a company.

That’s John Wallace’s philosophy. It takes teamwork, planning and a can-do attitude.

“Running a town is no different than running a business – you’re just making a different product,” said Wallace, who is seeking the District 3 seat on the city council.

Email newsletter signup

“Being in business for yourself, you learn to compromise for the good of all,” he said.

Wallace moved his family here in 1994, and founded Wallace Wood Products, which employs about 60 people and manufactures specialty wood veneers and plywoods.

With wife Jane, Wallace has been active in the community since he first arrived in the River City, serving “in a lot of capacities” here.

Among those services are various Chamber of Commerce postings, including a stint as chairman in 1999. He’s served on the Demopolis City Schools Foundation board of directors and is currently serving a term on the city’s Industrial Development Board. He’s also served as president of the Demopolis Rotary Club. At First United Methodist Church he’s taught two year-old Sunday School.

Wallace’s record of civic involvement may just be a reflection of what actually motivates his candidacy for the council.

“I was coerced by good friends,” he said laughing.

Getting more serious, he said that the primary motivation is to give back to Demopolis a little of what it’s given him.

“When we moved into Demopolis in ’94, we became a part of the community and it’s been good to us. We love Demopolis and I think we need to give to it as it has given to us.”

“I feel like it’s time to step up and serve a little more,” he said.

That service, Wallace said, is a natural step for him to take, and believes the city’s priorities should focus on preparation and face-time.

“There will always be streets that need paving, or lots that need to be cleaned up,” he said.

“We have to make our town ready for growth and continue what’s already taken place. We have to prepare for industry and learn to promote from within,” he said.

He’s realistic about the major issues facing the town’s economic development.

“You hear a lot of talk about four-lanes, but there’s not a lot to do here (in the city), that needs to be in Montgomery and we have to support our mayor so he can be in Montgomery pushing Demopolis,” he said. “That’s where it’s going to happen, and our city needs to have a face in Montgomery that’s recognizable. If we’re prepared and if (legislators) are used to seeing a representative from Demopolis, they’ll at least think about us.”

Wallace knows, too, that building on the successful endeavors in the city has to take place.

“We’re doing a lot right,” he said, pointing to the DCSF, police and fire department structures, the arts community and historic interests.

“Demopolis has so many plusses … and so much is already here,” he said.