After more than 11 years serving the county where he was born and raised, Robert Earl Autery will again run on the Republican ticket for Walker County Commissioner Precinct 2.

“I am fulfilling what I always dreamed I wanted to do, helping people,” Autery said. “Also being the only senior on the commissioners court, I feel like I can help seniors in the community. Even a 5-cent tax raise can hurt them, and we actually were able to freeze the taxes for senior citizens in the county last year.”

Autery, who will seek the Republican spot on the ballot, said rural road improvement has also been a top priority over the years. He has managed to change the roads from narrow, one-lane byways to wider, two-lane roads with easements for drainage where land was available.

He said there is further planning to pave and upgrade rural roads as the county’s budget allows.

“Rural roads are never ending in their demand for constant up-keep,” he said. “And with a limited budget, road improvement is a high priority.”

Autery admits the largest portion of his precinct’s budget goes to personnel, and he said that keeping quality employees is key to running a tight ship.

“This is important in order that we do not train our people only to lose them to other businesses,” he said. “All my crew is the best in Walker County as far as I’m concerned. As far as doing the work, I owe it to my three oldest employees, Valerie Scott, Carl Archie and James Byrd. We must keep our experienced employees.”

Other than his duties as road commissioner, budget and personnel director, Autery is a long-term member of the Brazos Valley Community Action Agency board. Through this organization, he has obtained funds of $10,000 a year to keep the Walker County Senior Center up and running, $2,500 for the women of the community in their quest to fight breast cancer and $5,000 for the start up of Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA).

“The money to CASA was very vital to get matching funds for a grant and to get it quickly,” he said.

Currently, Autery said there is a plan in progress to open a local health center to help relieve the stress on the Huntsville Memorial Hospital emergency room.

He also serves on the local Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone Board, working with the city to attract businesses to the area for future tax relief and to help the local economy.

Autery is married to Mary Jo, and they have three children, two daughters and one son. They are also grandparents of six.

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