Bartholomew seeks 2nd term as mayor

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 7, 2016

John E. Bartholomew announced this week that he will seek reelection as mayor of Opp in the August municipal election.

Bartholomew said he believes much has been accomplished since he took office in 2012, and moving the city forward must be continued.


Bartholomew has a proven track record of leading successful businesses and brought Alabama Aerospace, LLC. to Opp. He and his wife also own Bartholomew Properties, which includes residential and commercial rental properties.

Bartholomew also served in the U.S. Air Force. As a 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 picked — 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 35 years.

He said he sees the job of mayor as being the head of a company.

“As mayor, I have not had the luxury of looking at just one section or district of the city, but rather the whole picture,” he said. “When I took office in 2012, I immediately began to look for ways that the city could save money. I worked to remove the idea of ‘that’s how we’ve always done it,’ because those ways were only hurting us.”

He said local manufacturing companies have not only remained strong since 2012, but are now in the process of retooling and expansion. He cited an expansion at MFG Alabama. Also, working with the owners of Custom Collars, he has worked with them to get them the property they need for expansion.

Also, he said Sonoco is working on an expansion that will take them from a 24/5 schedule to a 24/7 schedule with 50 employees.

Just recently, a new company announced its intentions of building a new fertilizer plant in Opp, that will create an additional 30 jobs.

“I believe when you look at the big picture, we have made strides from the past into the future,” he said. “We are still recovering from the loss of the cotton mills years ago, but we are getting there.  Is Opp where I wish it could be? Not yet, but I have faith and the drive to keep working towards that day.”

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

Her family still calls Opp home.

He and Maggie are longtime members of Southside Baptist Church in Opp and are very active in the church’s activities and worship services.

While the mayor’s job in Opp is considered part time, Bartholomew has worked full time since he took office.

“It’s important to me that as your mayor, I’m at city hall when I need to be,” he said. “I need to be there so if you need to speak to the mayor, you can speak to the mayor. The public isn’t told I’m not in or they’ll have to be called back, or you have to call me at my business office, I make it a priority to be here for the citizens of Opp.”

Bartholomew also said he believes he has kept the city fiscally sound with the refinancing of the bonds.

“We were able to refinance our bonds at lower interest rates,” he said. “That brought money back into the city’s accounts which has helped us achieve more in projects in improving our city.”