Frank Burt has had many careers over the years and served on numerous boards, committees and panels.
But what he considers his most important job is the District 1 seat on the Baldwin County Commission. Burt is seeking his ninth term representing north Baldwin County and will face political newcomer Jeb Ball in the June 5 Republican primary. There is no Democratic opposition for the seat.
“I am presently serving my eighth term on the commission and devote myself full time to my commission duties,” Burt said. He said he was first interested in running for the seat after the death of his father in 1988 and has served ever since.
Ball, a lifelong resident of the county, currently works as program director for Baldwin Substance Abuse Services supervising court-ordered classes. He says Burt has served the county well, but residents have told him new leadership is needed.
Both cite transportation and job recruiting as vital to Baldwin County in the coming years, including landing a tenant at the South Alabama Mega Site in District 1.
“I believe that we must complete the Baldwin Beach Express from I-65 to I-10 and bring good quality manufacturing industries to our Mega Site in North Baldwin County,” Burt said.
Ball says recruiting new industries to the Mega Site will lead to growth on the northern end of the county to counter the burgeoning population and housing boom in South Baldwin.
“I will work in making sure we land the right type of industry to the Mega Site that will stimulate the much-needed growth in North Baldwin,” he said. “This will bring jobs and families to the area, which in turn will alleviate some of the strain we are experiencing in the south end of the county and on the Eastern Shore.”
Burt said during his earlier terms he helped the county get back on sound financial footing, and he and other commissioners have helped the school board in the same ways.
“However, much remains to be done to maintain our quality of life, protect our environment, our abundance of high-quality water in our streams, rivers and bays,” Burt said. “We need to continue to pave the unpaved roads, upgrading road safety, improve our access to quality internet service and keep public safety at the forefront.”
Ball said he is running for the seat to make a difference in the county he’s called home for 46 years.
“I have come to a point in my life where I feel called to serve my community,” Ball said. “I understand how important it is to have a commissioner who understands our area and will fight to make sure our voices are heard.”