Town meeting puts focus on area needs

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 16, 2007

DEMOPOLIS &8212; When Rep. AJ McCampbell entered office, he said he made one promise to his constituents: to come back and listen to their needs, a promise kept at Tuesday&8217;s town hall meeting sponsored by the Demopolis Area Chamber of Commerce.

Among other topics discussed, McCampbell was candid about the atmosphere in the state legislature, whose last regular session day on June 7 was marred by Sen. Charles Bishop of Jasper punching Sen. Lowell Barron of Fyffe. McCampbell said many of those attitudes persist in the Legislature, which could lead to more problems.

In spite of the previous sessions, McCampbell said he is excited about seeking money to fund the creation of training centers for more technical jobs in West Alabama.

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McCampbell noted one of the major industries in Marengo County, the logging industry, has experienced setbacks. His recommendation is to seek out jobs meant for the 21st Century to take the place of jobs that are falling by the wayside.

During the question portion of the meeting, McCampbell talked about his views on the sale of the Farquhar State Cattle Ranch, which he concludes is still going to happen. He noted the sale could more of a political move than an economic move, despite the urging of Rep. Ralph Howard.

When asked what the solution to stop the sale would be, McCampbell said it would not hurt to continue writing letters to both the governor and Department of Corrections Commissioner Richard Allen.

McCampbell closed his session by saying when he was younger, he never had the desire to be in politics and that this new position has been a learning experience.