Bartholomew seeks election as Opp mayor

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 23, 2012

John E. Bartholomew has announced his candidacy for Opp mayor in the August municipal election.

Bartholomew said he has been successfully developing and leading businesses for more than 35 years.

His entrepreneurial leadership portfolio encompasses a wide variety of successful ventures including retail and real estate, as well as land and commercial development. Bartho-lomew said his business acumen is clearly demonstrated by his proven track record of consistently being in the right place at the right time, and in the right industry.

Those leadership qualities have led him to where he now wants to put them to work for the city of Opp as the next mayor. He has a vision for the direction the city needs to go, he said.

Bartholomew is a disabled veteran of the U.S. Air Force.

As a young missile technician, he was hand-selected by his chain-of-command for an opportunity to receive advanced training. Upon completion of the training, he continued to excel and was once again handpicked— this time to join a quality control team, thereby earning him the distinction of becoming the youngest team member in quality control.

After recovering from serious injuries suffered in a job-related fall that prematurely ended his Air Force career, Bartholomew embarked upon an entrepreneurial journey that has spanned more than three and a half decades.

Bartholomew said he believes that corporate growth is important and that it is best achieved by giving back to the community.

He put his words into action when he moved to Opp and invested in the abandoned cotton mill, revitalizing it from the ground up using environmentally friendly techniques and contracting with local suppliers and technicians whenever available. This leads to providing cost-effective facilities for several start up companies in the city, the most successful being Alabama Aerospace Manufacturing, LLC.

Since the inception of AAM in 2010, Bartholomew has guided the company as CEO and president to a  position that is capitalizing on the growing aerospace market in the southeastern U.S. AAM is already working with numerous aerospace firms and suppliers to grow not only AAM’s business, but the rest of the aerospace industry in the region by developing needed services.

The numerous jobs already created will only increase as AAM continues to gain new accreditations and customers.

Bartholomew is married to the former Margaret “Maggie” Reynolds, who was reared in Opp.

Her family still calls Opp home, and many were employees, including her parents and siblings, of the cotton mill she and her husband revitalized into AAM.

“I’m ready to lead Opp into a new direction by using my business contacts in the industrial fields to bring new manufacturing plants and jobs and new retail ventures,” he said.

“I also want to bring our city’s spending under control, so that the city must live within its means.

It does not make sound business sense to keep borrowing and spending money that the city’s tax base cannot support.

And we should not be relying on a city owned utilities as an income source for the city. I want a larger retail base to generate that income. By bringing our spending under control, we will be able to bring our utility costs back in line.

“I know the public is tired of politics as usual and that they don’t want another negative campaign, and that is not what I will do,” he said. “I just ask voters to look at the facts and humbly ask for their support in the municipal election in August.”