Barge runs for county commission

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 1, 2004

Barbara Barge has declared her candidacy for the Dallas County Commission’s District 1 seat.

“I think I can bring something to the table that’s not currently there,” Barge said. “I’m not afraid to tackle problems.”

Barge, a county resident for 28 years, is running under the slogan, “A vote for Barbara Barge puts the people in charge.” According to Barge, several problems exist in the county that must be addressed, including crime, education and roads.

Email newsletter signup

Community meetings help address the crime problem, but government must be more realistic in its approach to fighting crime, Barge said. One source of crime included children not having proper examples set for them. “People say one thing, and they do another,” Barge said. “Kids don’t do what we say, they do what we do.”

According to Barge, several people believe that if a problem isn’t addressed, it disappears. “That’s not the case,” she added. “If you’re in a position of power, and you don’t do what you said you would do, people know that. Truth has a way of knowing itself. I will not make promises that I have no intention of keeping.”

Barge said that she would speak honestly about crime in an effort to curb it. “I’m more willing to tackle a problem head on than pay lip service,” she added. “I will work tirelessly to solve the problems faced by the constituents of District 1. I will be accessible to the public.”

Government also needed to focus on education as a method of stopping crime, Barge said. “I would work on the dropout problem in the county,” she added. “I’d work on keeping kids in school and helping those that have left to gain GED’s. Wallace Community College Selma has a wonderful program. There’s a wonderful program on the base.”

Barge noted that some people might evaluate children on where they are. “I look at where they want to go,” she said. “To me, it’s easier to help the child than repair the man.”

Teen pregnancy was another problem that Barge said she would face. “I’d work with girls so they could see their opportunities,” Barge said. “Waiting to begin a family would be to their advantage.”

Concerning county roads, Barge said that work had been done on Alabama Highway 41 and in the Minter area, but added that there was more to do. “I want to see more roads paved,” she said. “I’d focus on the areas with more people.”

Barge also plans on focusing on bringing more jobs to the area. “Everything goes back to education,” she said. “If you can’t read, you can’t apply for a job. We’ve got to be as educated as possible.”

Barge said she would work closely with the Dallas County School Board and the school system’s supervisor. “I want kids to get involved in local politics,” Barge said. “If they were, they could make more informed decisions about their government.”

Barge is a product of the Selma City School system. She gained her masters degree in education leadership from Auburn University. She’s been employed as a Dallas County school teacher for 10 years and has served as a cheerleader coach and as chairperson for several committees, including the school improvement plan and parental involvement groups. “I am a strong advocate for students’ rights,” Barge said. “I will stand up for what I believe is right even if I stand alone. I bring integrity, character, dedication and a willingness to serve.”

In the past Barge has worked as a BellSouth lineman and telephone operator, county extension home programmer, Cahaba Mental Health Early Intervention teacher, homebound instructor for the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind and as manager for Sears and Roebuck.

She is the daughter of the late Henry Singleton and Essie Singleton. She is the mother of three children, Latonya Billupss, Lawrence Danzy and the late Carl E. Barge.