Petrey to run for county commissioner

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 20, 2006

Tommy Petrey of Campground, the son of the late Cecil and Oleta Petrey of Petrey, has announced his candidacy for Crenshaw County Commissioner for District Three.

Petrey is a 1969 graduate of Luverne High School. After graduation, he enlisted in the United States Coast Guard, which included a varied career working in Aids to Navigation, Search and Rescue, Law Enforcement, and a tour of duty in Desert Storm during 1991.

In 1992, after serving 22 years of service, he retired at the rank of Senior Chief Boatswain's Mate (E-8) and moved to the Campground Community where he currently farms.

&#8220I feel that I have a lot of experience behind me that would be an asset to the Crenshaw County Commission,” Petrey said. &#8220Training and experience is necessary, but if it's not coupled with a dedication to duty, then you will always fall short of your goals. I feel that one of my biggest assets to the residents of Crenshaw County is my dedication in fulfilling my duties.”

Petrey said that he has held numerous leadership positions throughout his career. He has served as Officer in Charge of several Coast Guard units, and he has five years of law enforcement experience. He is also a 1990 graduate of the Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer's Academy. He currently serves as chief of the Northeast Crenshaw Volunteer Fire Department.

&#8220If elected as your county commissioner, I have three main goals that I will strive to attain,” Petrey said. &#8220First, I guarantee that every tax dollar will be used in the best interest of the county.”

Petrey said, for example, that for the past five years, he has been encouraging the commission to reform the salary for the office of Crenshaw County's probate judge.

&#8220This November, we will have the opportunity to repeal Constitutional Amendment 496, which will lower that salary from $115,135 to an estimated $67,000,” Petrey said. &#8220This will put much needed money back into the General Fund for the county. We have lost many good county employees to better paying jobs because we don't have the county funds to compete with private companies. The savings gained by repealing Amendment 496 would go a long way to correcting this hardship our county employees are working under.”

Petrey said that his second goal if elected would be to dedicate as much time as would be required to research matters that come up before the commission, to follow-up on past projects and to maintain high visibility in the county.

&#8220Plus, I want to establish a better line of communication between the commission and the citizens of Crenshaw County,” he said. &#8220In talking with people over the last five years, I have been amazed at the lack of information moving from the county commission to the public. This can be accomplished by working closely with the local print and radio media, or, if necessary, by sending out quarterly newsletters.”

&#8220I truly believe that my goal and the public's goal is to have the best county possible,” he said.

Petrey was married to the late Kathy Mount Petrey. Her parents are the late Herbert and Eula Bell Mount of Brantley. He has one step-daughter, Tracy (Michael) Finlayson of Luverne.