Qualifications make Al Meehan viable candidate

By Julie Fann
star staff

Al Meehan has lived a life. He has studied Spanish at the Language Institute of Costa Rica, served as a missionary in Ecuador, and currently works part-time for the Carter County Sheriff's Department as a police officer. Meehan's career history is, to say the least, colorful.
   "I have FBI and State Department training and worked for the Baltimore Police Department for six years. I feel I'm extremely qualified, capable of studying the issues, and able to make informed judgments," Meehan said.
   Meehan came to Carter County in 1968 to attend Moody Aviation. He has paid close attention to what he termed "hot button" issues that he knows will require close consideration.
   "I want to know more about a countywide zoning plan. I want to study the existing ordinances and regulations surrounding it. It's kind of awkward to have part of the county under zoning and part of it not," Meehan said.
   Measures need to be taken to improve the space situation at the Carter County jail, Meehan believes. "It's overcrowded and something just needs to be done about it. Maybe some things need to be moved to another location. It's an issue that needs to be addressed though," he said.
Meehan wants financial stability for the county without overburdening the taxpayers. He said there is an increasing number of people in Carter County who live on a fixed income and, as a result, are already under serious strain. "I realize the budget depends heavily on what the state does, and the state is in chaos right now," he said.
   Having a financial director for the county makes sound business sense to Meehan because the county employs approximately 140 people and has a budget over $47 million. "That's the information I've been given. It makes sense when you have a budget that large to have a financial director," he said.
   The county also needs a professional who can recruit jobs to the county, according to Meehan. "We need someone who can share or instill a vision to bring meaningful industry to this region, not just $6 or $7 an hour jobs," he said.