Hayes established 24 years of trust with residents

 Joseph Parnell and Joe Headley present Heedy Hayes (middle) with a plaque in honor of his retirement from 24 years of service on the Chilton County Commission. (Photo by Anthony Richards)

Joseph Parnell and Joe Headley present Heedy Hayes (middle) with a plaque in honor of his retirement from 24 years of service on the Chilton County Commission. (Photo by Anthony Richards)

After 24 years of service on the Chilton County Commission, Heedy Hayes gained the truest and respect of the community.

That was an overwhelming sentiment shared during a retirement party held for has in the same room of the courthouse where he had previously been a part of so many Commission meetings.

“I’ve just been honest with people,” Hayes said.

Twenty-four years is a long time, but what urged him to continue to run each election was the fact that he is a native of Jemison and wanted to help the people that he grew up getting to know.

“I was concerned about this county,” Hayes said.

Often times during Commission meetings, it was clear what side of the fence Hayes stood on. There was no questioning his beliefs.

“Before I voted no on anything, I was going to let you know how I felt,” Hayes said.

The memories that come to the forefront when Hayes looks back at his time on the Commission is the work that went into getting a new jail and hospital.

“I know what I’ve done and I’m satisfied with it,” Hayes said. “I don’t need any recognition to know all that we’ve accomplished.”

According to Commissioner Joseph Parnell, Hayes was instrumental in making sure nearly $9,000 was saved as starting money for the newly built St. Vincent’s Hospital. The money helped in the initial purchasing of the land and construction.

“There were plenty of opportunities to spend the money, but he fought ever since the old hospital closed,” Parnell said. “We would have struggled to get something done without him.”

Hayes’ advice to current and future members of the Commission has always remained the same.

“Vote what you feel is right, and don’t let others persuade you,” Hayes said. “You can live with that.”

Parnell reminisced about receiving that advice from Hayes shortly after getting sworn in on his first night.

“That is the best advice that I’ve been given since I’ve been a part of the Commission,” Parnell said.

 

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