Hardee elected new Commission chairman

Published 12:01 pm Wednesday, November 10, 2021

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Jimmie Hardee was elected as the new chairman of the Chilton County Commission during the commission’s meeting on Nov. 9. Commissioner Randell Kelley was elected as the vice chair of the commission.

Hardee replaces Joseph Parnell, who had served as the chairman for the last two years.

Parnell did not run for the chairman position, instead stepping away, as he felt a fresh set of eyes are necessary after his two years holding the position.

“When we had this discussion two years ago about making a change at chair, I made a comment then that I felt like nobody needed to serve more than two years,” Parnell said. “That’s not disparaging toward anybody historically, but if you have a change of guard on a regular basis, you got a new set of eyes and ears looking over the county’s financials, and I just believe that it’s the best thing to do from a checks and balances standpoint.”

Hardee has been wanting the opportunity to serve as chairman for some time. He took over as vice chair for the commission a year ago when Parnell was re-elected, and has been learning from Parnell, preparing to eventually taking the reins.

“I had to learn some things, and … Joseph has taught me a lot here about being a chairman, along with all the other commissioners,” Hardee said. “I told him when I became his vice chair last year that I had his back, and I did … I’m going to still lean on Mr. Parnell and those in the commission.”

Hardee will have several different responsibilities now as chairman. There are many things going on in the county such as work force development, broadband projects as well as the Alabama Farm Center project.

He knows it will be a challenge to take on all the different projects that the commission is involved in, but he believes he is ready and is excited to move the county forward.

“Chilton County is in a different area in its life right now,” Hardee said. “We have opportunities here that we haven’t had before. We have revenue here that we haven’t had before. I hope to do what I can do and do my part.”