Ballard announces re-election bid

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 1, 2004

Kim Ballard has announced his candidacy for the Dallas County Commission.

Ballard, currently serving his second term as District 4 County Commissioner, said he chose to run for re-election to see ongoing projects come to fruition. &uot;You always have unfinished business,&uot; he said. &uot;You want to be there for the completion of the projects.&uot;

Ballard, the Delta Rural Health network director for the Alabama Tombigbee Regional Planning Commission, said that recruiting industries was a big part of a commissioner’s job. Dallas County stands at a pivotal point with industries, and Ballard said he had the experience and working relationships to help improve the area. &uot;Opportunities like the Lear Corporation project are still out there,&uot; he said. &uot;We’ve got the team in place to go after those industries.&uot;

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Ballard isn’t just looking toward improving the county’s industries. He also wants to improve the county’s roads. &uot;If I had my choice, every road in Dallas County would be paved,&uot; he said. &uot;We’re moving in the right direction.&uot;

Concerning the county’s crime problem, Ballard said education was one answer. &uot;We’ve got to let people know that they’re more good people than bad,&uot; he said. &uot;Crime Stoppers is a great step in that direction.&uot;

He added that law enforcement authorities needed to receive proper compensation for the risks they take on a daily basis. &uot;And the public has to support them,&uot; Ballard said. &uot;We’ve got a good police and Sheriff’s department presence.&uot;

The responsibility of solving the crime problem also rests with the courts, Ballard said, since judges mete out punishments. However, he added that jail doesn’t rehabilitate people. &uot;We need sentencing that rehabilitates people,&uot; Ballard said. &uot;You’ve got to stop the cycle somewhere. You’ve got to get the public involved in it. A lot of the problems we have today are related to the drug issue.&uot;

When asked why someone should vote for him, Ballard smiled. &uot;I’ve been asked that before,&uot; he joked. &uot;I’ve got a proven record, I’m responsive to people’s needs and I’m easy to find. I want people to call me if they have an issue.&uot;

Ballard added that he had the experience to solve problems and was dedicated to the area. &uot;Most everybody knows me,&uot; he said. &uot;Most people have had some reason to interact with me. If they approve of the job I’ve done and the one I’m doing, they have reason to vote for me.&uot;

Ballard was born and raised in Marengo County, but has lived in Selma for most of his life. He was in the insurance business for 25 years before working in healthcare at the Selma Medical Center.

He’s served on several boards and commissions, including the Selma-Dallas County Chamber of Commerce board of directors, the family residency program board at The University of Alabama in Birmingham and the Selma City Council.

Ballard, a former active deacon at Fairview Baptist Church, is married to Karen Ballard. They have three daughters &045; Tonya Gandy, Terri Cook and Shelley Patterson.

Ballard has three grandsons &045; Matthew Lee Gandy, Ryan Lee Cook and Carson Cook.