Shoals Insider Readers responded to a recent Facebook poll on the upcoming MARCH 3rd Republican Primary for Colbert County Commission – District 2 (Muscle Shoals)

The results:     David Black 22%    /   Tyrus Mansell 78%.

We followed up with a Q&A with the candidate the people of Muscle Shoals overwhelmingly chose if the vote were held today:

Q:        Tell us about yourself Tyrus.

A:        My wife, Lorie Henry Mansell, and I have been married for 32 years.  We have two children.  Our daughter Faith Kelley is married to Conner. and our son, Evan, is married to Leslie  We have two grandsons, Deacon and Paxton.  The family also includes a few four-legged furry family members (Ginger and Teddy). I was raised in Franklin County.  After graduating from Russellville High School in 1980 I went on to UNA.  I finished in 1985 with a degree in business management.  After graduation, I worked for the Franklin County District Attorney’s Office as the Victim’s Service Officer.  I then spent 11 years in the insurance industry and for the last 20 years, I have worked in the Pharmaceutical Industry.   

Q;        Tell us a little more about the family before we ask about your decision to run for elected office.

A:        If you’re like me, the most rewarding job I have ever had has been being a parent.  Our son Evan graduated from Muscle Shoals High School.  He went on to Freed Hardeman University on a baseball scholarship and graduated summa cum laude with a Business Management degree.  He, Leslie and the boys reside in Muscle Shoals and he also works in the pharmaceutical industry.  Faith finished at Mars Hill, where Lorie also graduated, top of her class.  She then attended UNA where she graduated summa cum laude with an Education degree.  Faith received her masters degree while teaching first grade at Highland Park Elementary in Muscle Shoals.  She is currently enrolled in the Doctorate program at UAB, where her husband, Conner, is completing Dentistry School.  They will be moving to Oklahoma City for Conner’s specialized dental residency.  They plan to move back to the Shoals Area to open his practice.  And then the grandsons.  No matter how glad we are to see our kids the grandkids are the first to get TyTy and LoLo’s attention. (I don’t have to tell other grandparents how special grandchildren are. It’s truly one of the most crowning moments in life).

Q:        What are your favorite activities outside of family?

A:        As an elder at our church, Highland Park Church of Christ, Lorie and I stay active in our church’s activities.  We devote time to services, programs, youth, and outreach in the community and missions. I enjoy playing golf with Evan, Connor and friends when time permits. College football season is always a big deal in the Mansell family. All that are close to me know my passion for cooking, tailgating and big church functions!  I have currently traded my gym time for walking and meeting the people in District 2.  I have thoroughly enjoyed the campaign trail and getting to meet many new people.

Q:        Outside of Family, Church, and a few sports, what other interests or accolades would others say about Tyrus Mansell?

A:        I hope others would say Tyrus Mansell is a man who cares about others. As a parent, I have been blessed to help coach youth sports for both Evan and Faith.  Lorie and I always found ways to attend all their functions. My first job after graduating from UNA was working as a Victim’s Service Officer for the Franklin Co. District Attorney’s Office. As a young adult, being able to help people during one of the darkest times in their lives gave me a better understanding of how much public servants can help those in need. From there, I went on to work in the Insurance field, once again, learning how much people rely on others to help them prepare for the unexpected. When the opportunity arose for me to work in the medical field as a Pharmaceutical Representative and Lorie working in Home Health our dinner conversations always turned to the many needs of those we had the opportunity to serve.   

Q:        Your campaign literature indicates you have experience in serving on Boards in Muscle Shoals. What is your background on these?

A:        I’ve served for over 25 years on various appointed boards in Muscle Shoals including the Parks and Recreation Board, Civil Service Board and currently the Muscle Shoals Utilities Board under the management of General Manager James Vance.  The Utilities Board provides a vital service of drinking water and sanitary sewer to citizens of Muscle Shoals. We meet monthly and have made great strides in improving services, upgrades and new treatment facilities. 

Q:        How does your experience on the M.S. Utilities Board compare to County needs or be an asset should you be elected County Commissioner?

A:        With all commitments whether it be in the church, social groups, or City Boards, attendance and education are the keys to being effective. I am proud of the fact that in the last 11 years of service on the Utilities Board I have achieved a 95% attendance record.  Preparation and learning prior to a board meeting create an effective governance structure. A good working relationship between the board members and managers within the organization are the key to developing long-range planning and services. As a Utilities Board member, we are responsible for strategic planning for services, growth, and financial planning and stability. Some of those critical issues we address on a regular basis are:

Bond Issues and Financial Audits

Policy Setting to ensure sound financial strategies and firm financial foundations

Employee Relations, Pay/Benefits/Policies (salaries, insurance and retirement)

Customer relations (complaints, explaining department projects, etc)

Regulatory relations (understanding, abiding by and applying EPA, ADEM, ALDOT, S&P Bond requirements, etc)

Construction relations (competitive bidding, contractors, engineers, major/heavy construction projects)

Forward Thinking (planning and investing in projects to ensure department is prepared to meet the growing needs)

Utility rate setting 

Q:        How do you see your role as County Commissioner in relation to Muscle Shoals services?

A:        The Utilities Board is a multi-million dollar operation that has the same areas of legal, state, and federal guidelines governing operations and delivery of services. As a Board Member, I am directly involved in all those areas of governance and have continuing education classes to work with the agencies and professionals to create strategic plans and financial stability. The Civil Service Board is responsible for hiring, discipline, hearings on grievances, and other personnel matters. My experience from the years served on the Civil Service Board will be critical when considering personnel issues at the county. I plan to work with the County Engineer, our City Departments, City Utilities and City Electric Departments to find cost savings measures and/or areas the county and city can work together to deliver the most cost-efficient services to our citizens. Financial accountability is a priority of mine.

Q:        Any last words for our Shoals Insider readers?

A;        Our County and Cities are poised for growth. I’m proud of the growth, new facilities and financial stability of the Utilities Board. Through the hard work of our General Manager James Vance, the board, and employees working together, we are providing a critical service that has received a clean Quality Water Report each year. It’s equally important for our elected officials to work together. We can develop an aggressive strategic plan for growth and fiscal accountability.  I look forward, if given the opportunity to be your next Colbert County Commissioner of District 2 and to work with the other commissioners in planning and solving the various problems that face our county.  I want to create a better tomorrow for our kids and grandkids.

I humbly ask for your vote on March 3rd in the Republican Primary. 

God Bless America.


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