Andy Kelley, who has served as a Lumberton City Councilmember for more than10 years, officially resigned Monday, Nov. 11 at a meeting of the Lumberton City Council to pursue a bid for Hardin County Precinct 4 Commissioner in March 2014. Kelley, 50, was required to step down from the City Council in order to register as a candidate for the position.
“I’ve talked about it in the past, but just felt the timing wasn’t good,” said Kelley, who explained that he hadn’t wanted to run against his friend, Precinct 4 Commissioner Bobby Franklin, who is now retiring. “I decided now is a good time and have the support of a lot of people.”
Kelley said the creation of the city’s subdivision ordinance and improving traffic flow in the city of Lumberton were the two accomplishments that he is most proud of during his service to the city.
“In the past, the builders and developers were coming in … basically building what they wanted, how they wanted without any guidelines,” Kelley said. “One of the main things we added in that ordinance was as they build new subdivisions, they had to connect to existing subdivisions. That was by design so we could move traffic from one side of the town to the other without people having to just be on the highways.”
Kelley added that city of Lumberton initiatives he played a vital role in made the connection from Forest Road to West Chance possible, allowing smoother traffic flow from Highway 96 to Highway 69 and an alternative route for drivers in the area, essential during school hours.
Kelley said he hopes he can bring the knowledge he acquired while working for the city of Lumberton for 10 years and also as director for nine years and president for seven years, both at the Lumberton Chamber of Commerce, to the Hardin County Commissioners Court. And while he has plenty of experience dealing with roads and bridges, he believes a bigger issue for Precinct 4 is communication.
“This precinct is the smallest precinct in the county, and the majority of the precinct is taken up by the city limits of Lumberton, so there’s very few roads and bridges that have to be addressed. I think the bigger issue for this precinct is working with the other commissioners and the mayor and city council of Lumberton in a positive, progressive manner,” said Kelley, who also emphasized the importance of tackling drainage issues if elected Pct. 4 Commissioner.
Although Kelley is stepping down from City Council, he said he would continue to regularly attend council meetings.
Kelley said, “I can’t be as fully informed as I should be as a commissioner if I don’t at least attend the City Council meetings to know what things are on the horizon. That will make me a better commissioner for the precinct and the county.”