A member of the Guntersville City Council since 1988, Randy Whitaker announces that he is seeking his 9th term as the District 7 Council member. He and his wife Selena live on Hideaway Drive.
He is 63 and has lived in Guntersville all of his life. He graduated from Guntersville High School and earned a bachelor's degree in forest management from Auburn University. He owns and operates Whitaker Forestry Services LLC.
He and Selena are members of the Guntersville First United Methodist Church and also attend services at Henryville United Methodist Church.
He is the father of two adult children, Randa Harrell, who lives in Houston, Texas, and Jeshua Whitaker, of Los Angeles, California.
He is the son of Ramona Dale Whitaker and the late Raymond "Punch" Whitaker.
He issued this statement:
"I deeply appreciate and have enjoyed the opportunity to serve the City of Guntersville for the past years. Of that time, I have served at the pleasure of the mayors, as the mayor pro-tem for 20 years under James Townson, Bob Hembree Jr. and now for current Mayor Leigh Dollar. I have earned certified municipal official status from the Alabama League of Municipalities. I also serve as the chairman of the Guntersville Fire Advisory Committee, The Guntersville and Albertville Solid Waste Authority and Guntersville Public Works Committee.
"I have been privileged to be part of some positive changes coming about from a lot of planning and hard work from both the past and present administrations.
"The citizens and businesses can be proud of the professionalism of the fire, police, recreation, transportation and public works departments. Even though they are not perfect, they continually strive to better our services. The mayor and council continue to try to provide and improve training for the staff while striving to adequately equip all city departments to better serve the public. For the first time, police cars and fire trucks are on replacement rotations while public works equipment and transportation buses are purchased when needed.
"For a town our size, we have a lot to be proud of. From an active museum, library and senior center; an award winning school system with expanded "hands on" teaching curriculum plus accomplished athletic programs; a committed and talented community theater in the Whole Backstage; and an award-winning recycling program that lowers the cost of sanitation services for all of us. The Farmers Market has grown and expanded with locally grown produce, crafts and entertainment. The downtown renovations and the beautiful horticultural plantings along with Errol Allen Park has given us new opportunists for entertainment and a shopping destination for both resident and visitors alike.
"We are blessed with numerous ball and recreational fields, some of which are being added to and renovated under our 'phase one' of the recreation department. The walking and biking trails are scheduled to be expanding, all with amazing scenic views scattered around the lake. Additional public piers and amenities continue to be added to aid in recreational opportunities plus additional and renovated boat launches will boost revenues in out city.
"We continue to work at lowering response times for fire and medical emergencies while lowering cost and preserving our current 3 fire I.S.O. rating. We have added a dive team consisting of fire and police officers for water reserves when needed.
"Our street paving is on an aggressive schedule in which about 45 percent of our total 85 miles of city streets have been paved in the past four years alone. New improvements to a 60 plus year old city hall and police station have been renovated. A new office building for DHR has been built in the Mountain Crest Industrial Park and expanded runway, fencing, a seaplane runway and other amenities at the airport have been added to cause more investment into Guntersville such as several new hangers and ACE Aeronautics locating here.
"We are always looking to improve on our waterfront development opportunities. The new City Harbor development , when completed, will offer welcome amenities for waterfront enjoyment and further strengthen an already strong economy here. We continue to protect our lake which includes participation with stake holders in a solution to a "multi-use" management of the lake weeds and supporting eradication of unwanted invasive species which threaten our ecosystem such as migrating Asian carp.
"I want to continue to create a vision where new industrial, commercial and retail developments are encouraged to locate here as some of our new restaurants, grocery stores and shops have in recent years.
"I will continue to work with the mayor and council to implement projects that will make our city an attractive, preferred location for not only new businesses but tourists and new residents. As always, I will give equal representation to all citizens, regardless of income or stature in our community.
"Thank you for allowing me to serve you for these past years. I ask for your prayers and support in the upcoming city election and hope that together will continue to make Guntersville a great place to live and a destination for others to visit."