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Harris announces candidacy

for County Commission District 5

By BETH LAKEY

Staff Writer

May 10, 2000 10 PM

Charlie Harris is seeking a third term on the Pike County Commission.

The Democrat is a Pike County native that wants to continue representing the people in District 5 "to the best of my ability.

"I just love representing my people," Harris said of those living in his commission district. "I’m concerned about my county and the needs of my county."

Harris believes the commissioners he’s served with during the current term have made some decisions for the betterment of each community and Pike County as a whole.

"We, as a group, have accomplished many things," Harris said giving examples, such as building a new Pike County Board of Education office building in downtown Troy, renovating the Pike County Courthouse and improving roads.

Perhaps, he is most pleased with something he pushed as the "head honcho" wanting pay raised for county employees.

"I worked at least 100 hours on that," Harris said of the pay raise issue.

But, in his eyes there is much more that needs to be done.

Harris would like to see Pike County build a new jail to be used by the county, the Troy Police Department and the Brundidge Police Department.

"I’m looking forward to working with the sheriff’s department to build a new jail," Harris said.

"We talk about it all the time," he said, adding now is the time to stop talking and make it a reality.

Another thing Harris would like to see in Pike County is a juvenile detention facility.

"In the next year, we need to make some long-range plans," Harris said of a strategic plan on which the Pike County Chamber of Commerce is working.

"I’m willing to work closely with the Chamber on that. We need to set goals so we know where we’re going in the future."

His goal is to make Pike County "the best place for everyone to live."

It is his love for Pike County and its people combined with his experience that he believes makes him the ideal person for the District commission 5 seat.

Born and raised in Pike County, Harris graduated from Hillcrest High School. He is married to the former Ruth Patterson, with whom he has four children. Nine grandchildren "are my life, Harris said.

He is chairman of the Board of Trustees at St. Paul AME Church in Brundidge, where he is a member.

Harris’ involvement reaches far beyond his church’s walls and serving on the Pike County Commission. He is a member of the Alabama New South Coalition and serves as chapter president along with being on the organization’s board of directors.

He was elected to the board of directors and has served over five years on the National Association of County Commissions and its economic development board000, is a graduate of the County Commission College in Auburn and serves on its board of directors as vice chairman and is the only certified county commissioner in Pike County.

He was also appointed by former State Rep. Steve Flowers and former Speaker of the House Jimmy Clark to a legislative conference in Washington, D.C. and has served on the Alabama Drug Task Force board.

After graduating from high school, Harris earned a diploma from Enterprise Junior College and graduated from the police academy in Bay Minette.