Bill Daws was born and raised in Limestone County and graduated from West Limestone High School in 1977. For 19 years he worked in Decatur at Wolverine Tubes. In 1999 he was a part of the Limestone County Sheriff’s Department and served as a patrol deputy. Bill had always wanted to own his own business; so, for two years he ran an excavating service gaining experience that would serve him well as a County Commissioner.
In 1996 he ran for County Commission and lost to Dave Seibert. When Dave became the Chairman of the Limestone County Commission in 2002, Bill was appointed to replace him in the District 4 slot. Bill successfully ran in 2004 and 2008, but was defeated in 2012. He returned to the Sheriff’s Department to serve as a patrolman, but then chose to transfer to the work release program as it was getting off the ground.
“I enjoyed helping these guys put their lives back together by working hard and making restitution,” Bill said. He told me how the program worked. “They had to be sentenced, and be willing to work in order to make restitution. It is so much better than just having them sit in prison and not doing anything. Even though it’s years later, I still hear from some of the guys who are really thankful for the program. They’ve turned their lives around and are drug-free. Some of them paid off child support or other debts, and it was a win-win for the taxpayers,” he added. However, it was when several people approached him to run again for his former position that he decided the only way to do so would be as an independent. “I told them, you are going to have to get my name on the ballot, and I will never run as part of a political party.” We chatted for awhile about the need for Commission and judicial positions to be non-partisan, and Bill hopes if he wins that running as an independent will pave the way for that to happen.
Bill also told me that he greatly enjoyed his job as Commissioner. “I loved doing the job, helping people, and working with the other Commissioners and City Council. Bringing jobs and helping industry grow keeps the money local, and helps the taxpayers,” he says.
One of the strengths Bill brings is the experience of being a farm owner. He raises cross-breed cattle, Angus and Hereford, as well as hay. “The Commission should be run like a business, and the tax payer should get the very best use of their tax dollars,” he said. He also said with firmness, “It is time to get rid of party politics. Run on your name and what you can do, not being tied to any group, organization, or committee.”
I asked Bill, “When you were Commissioner, what was your best accomplishment?” He answered, “Maintaining the roads safely.” He also talked about keeping the bushes cut back, getting funding to put guard rails for the Elk River, paving projects, and the fact that he returned phone calls in a timely manner. “I want to hear their concerns and see what we can do about it,” he said. Bill is proud of the fact that he was able to secure funding to renovate the Owens Senior Center.
“As an elected official, you are the voice of the people. You represent those folks,” Bill said. He went on to say, “There can be no room for personal agenda. You have to keep an open mind, and do what’s best for the people of the County.”
Bill says that “[t]he roads in District 4 are in bad shape, and safety is a major concern. If I am re-elected, my main project is to get the roads back up and to work with other officials to get funding we need. Limestone County is growing, and we need to make sure the roads and intersections are safe. I have had years of experience working with legislators to get grants, whether they are Federal, from Department of Transportation, or ATRIP (Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program).”
Bill also wants to make sure that major projects undertaken by the Commission are not what are known as “Cost plus 10,” because it’s too easy for there to be major cost overruns. Most of all he wants to be a “working Commissioner for all the citizens of District 4.” If this is what you are looking for in a County Commissioner, then Bill Daws would appreciate your vote on November 8th.
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner