T.C. Coley, Jr.Published 6:02pm Friday, April 1, 2011
A four-term Tallapoosa County Commissioner, Coley works to bring new jobs to ‘both sides of the river’
By Kris Kallies
T.C. Coley, Jr., District 1 representative for the Tallapoosa County Commission, has been serving the people of the county for four consecutive terms.
“I’d like to believe that I’m having an impact on the community working through my current office,” Coley said.
Born April 23, 1968 in Alexander City, Coley has never been a stranger to public service.
“I was student body president when I was at Benjamin Russell High School,” Coley said. “We established the current school colors of maroon, gray and white.”
After graduating from The University of Alabama with a degree in marketing, he returned to Alexander City to work for the Russell Corp.
It was in 1998 when he was elected to the county commission for his first term.
Since that time, he has been part of many projects that have helped Tallapoosa County to grow, even after the downsizing at Russell Corp.
“One of the first things I helped to do was rebuild the track at the high school,” Coley said. “That’s why I’ve tried to support keeping the track program at the school – I want them to be able to continue using the facilities.”
Coley is also responsible for building a computer lab at the Cooper Community Center, which is currently undergoing renovations.
The park behind the community center was also built with funding from the county commission to renovate and build a playground and pavilion. Coley was influential in this project as well.
The C.J. Coley Courthouse Annex was another part of his plan to help the community. He led the commission to find and develop the site. Eventually, the annex was created in the former Russell Research and Development building on Lee Street.
“Before, county offices were scattered all over the place,” Coley said. “The circuit clerk was upstairs at the police station, the sheriff’s office was on the other side of the square, so we had to find a way to consolidate all of our county facilities in one place.”
The annex, Coley feels, is better, especially when it comes to inmates, because they can easily be secured in and out of the courtroom.
Coley also works to help attract new industry to the area and has traveled to South Korea in the attempt to bring companies to the Lake Martin area.
When he isn’t working on big projects like these, he tries to do small things for the county, like making sure the roads are in good condition.
“Sometimes that’s kind of hard, because the economy forces us to be careful with our discretionary budget,” Coley said.
Outside of work, Coley is a member of the Haven United Methodist Church and loves to play football. His son, T.C. Coley III, is 13 years old and attends Alexander City Middle School. He loves football, as well.
Coley is also a member of the boards of the American Red Cross and the Economic Development Alliance.
He does admit he stays pretty busy, but “in another life, I’d do some little league baseball and football coaching.”
Coley is pleased with the effort the county commission has made to bring new jobs and industry into the area.
“We have a lot to offer, especially against communities of a similar size,” Coley said. “One of the things I want to do is foster a small business incubator. I also want to take care of our young people, because they’re our future, and our success as a community is directly tied to them.”
For the moment, at least, Coley is happy in his position and has no intentions of leaving the commission.
“I’d like to think I’m doing the most good where I am right now. I have a better feel for what the community needs in my current position,” Coley said.
Coley said while he’s proud of his accomplishments, there’s more work to be done.