Published 12:00 am Friday, October 18, 2002
If it works, don't fix it. If it works extremely well, don't throw it away.
State Representative Seth Hammett works extremely well.
With Hammett, currently up for re-election, as our representative, we have more to gain than just the prestige of claiming the Speaker of the House. We have a dedicated advocate for our area who has repeatedly brought grant money, disbursements, jobs, roads, and school improvements to our citizens. During his time in office, we have seen the roads and education improve. We have seen our medical facilities and recreational areas improve. We have seen our quality of life improve.
Of course, Hammett can't take credit for all of this, but he has been a principal mover in Covington County's growth. From his work in financial institutions to educational institutions to his work in Montgomery, he has established a base of knowledge that has served well. Now that he has retired from his position at LBW College and can devote more time and attention to his role as representative and speaker, that base of knowledge will serve even more.
Many call him "Mr. Speaker" - but Hammett has proven that he is our representative first and foremost. He has attended many civic gatherings, some of seemingly huge import, some of seemingly small. He has made an effort to represent all the people of his district, regardless of heritage.
As a legislator, Hammett has pushed for education and the welfare of our young people. Earlier this month, he gave Rep. Mac Gipson, a Republican from Prattville, priority treatment, supporting Gipson's bill that would require the use of booster seats for children who had outgrown infant seats. The bill passed the house 75-9.
In an era where "ethical" has become an almost mythological concept, Hammett sponsored a bill that became the Alabama Ethics Act, one of the toughest ethics laws in the country.
In a state that has seen textile jobs flee for cheaper workers in other nations, he has worked with state and local industrial boards to find alternate industries, many of which, like Hyundai and ServiceZone, pay better than the industries they replace.
It is the tendency of many politicos to focus on metropolitan areas, concerning themselves with the needs of those in Birmingham, Montgomery, Mobile and Huntsville. Hammett has not forgotten his origins and has persistently promoted growth and improvement in rural areas, especially in Covington County.
If there is a flaw in Hammett's representation(and being human) there is, it is that he has done so many things so well for our district that we sometimes expect too much. As a representative, even as speaker, Hammett does not rule alone, but must work with other representatives, often employing the most common tool of the trade - compromise. No one can deliver all the goods all the time, but from everything we've seen, Seth Hammett tries his best to do just that.
Whatever your own choice, we urge that you act on it – get out and vote.