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Infrastructure is priority for Palmer in re-election bid

Councilman David Palmer has a unique perspective on public works in Russellville, as he is also county engineer with the Franklin County Highway Department – which has been his career for 26 years.

He is running for re-election in District 1 on the Russellville City Council.

“I’ve been in public service for the biggest part of my adult life,” Palmer said. “I enjoy it. It’s something that for me is very gratifying. I enjoy the public works part of both jobs.”

Palmer has been heavily involved in the ATRIP program, which began as a county program but, through cooperation between the county and municipalities, benefited cities as well as the county, making possible “the largest infrastructure program in the history of the city.” Palmer said he has gained enough experience through the years to understand that “at the local government level, one of the biggest parts of success is the ability for people to work together – to collaborate, to partner, to share resources. That’s one of the biggest keys to success.”

It’s that kind of cooperation, Palmer said, that brought $14.5 million spread across the county and its cities over the past four years for infrastructure developments, and its that mindset that drives him to run for re-election.

“I want to continue to be a person who promotes cooperation, collaboration and partnerships, sharing resources across political boundaries and building the relationships so we can continue to do what we’ve done,” Palmer said.

Palmer said there are still gaps in cooperation that he wants to continue to bridge, if re-elected. He also wants to be involved in setting in place a program for Russellville to maintain all of its infrastructure improvements. He also prioritized economic development, which he said is inextricably connected to improved infrastructure, which is attractive to prospective industries. Another important focus for Palmer will be continuing to support excellent education in the Russellville City School system and working hard to clean up the city and enforce compliance issues “to make this city look and feel the way people want it to look and feel.”

Ambulance service is also still an issue in Russellville, Palmer said. “We’ve been working to try to solve that very difficult issue, but we’re not there yet, and we’re aware of that. We’re just trying to find the right solution.”

In recreation concerns, Palmer is invested in bringing Hal Kirby Park back, as well as working to create better facilities for youth softball in Russellville.

Palmer graduated from the University of Alabama in 1989 with a degree in civil engineering and worked in the private sector for a time before coming to Franklin County as assistant county engineer. He rose to county engineer after four years.

He is married to Kim, who teaches first grade at West Elementary, and they have three children: John David, 17, Callie, 13, and Kinsley, 10.

He is a member of First Baptist Church in Russellville.

“It’s been an honor and joy to serve as a city councilman,” Palmer said. “I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I appreciate the people in my district giving me that opportunity, and I would love to continue to serve them.”