District 1 councilman shares plans to make community vibrant

By Lindsey Shelton

Sitting in his office amidst boxes of election signs and t-shirts, Councilman Bobby Howard of District 1 explained how he intends to improve the quality of life of District 1 citizens if he is re-elected to a second term.

“We have done all the major life-changing things like taking care of major flooding areas and widening streets, Howard said. “Now we really want to put the icing on the cake, so to speak, by doing those things that make a community attractive, functional and vibrant.”

Howard said that the community needs more shopping centers, houses and an office building that could possibly house a doctor’s, dentist’s and auto insurance offices.

Meet Bobby Howard

Howard, born in Sumter County and raised in Pickens County, moved to Tuscaloosa in 1973 after an honorable discharge from the Marines.

Howard came to Tuscaloosa for school. He received an associate degree in Liberal Arts from Shelton State Community College and a Bachelor of Arts in business administration from Stillman College.

Howard said he stayed in Tuscaloosa because of the opportunities.

“It was wide open,” he said. “Tuscaloosa had so many opportunities with jobs, politics and civic involvement.”

Howard said he first got involved in politics in 1978 working with Bryant Melton’s first campaign for the House of Representatives.

Howard worked 22 years at the B.F. Goodrich plant and retired early in 1998.

Previous campaigns

Howard ran unsuccessfully for City Council twice and once for Tuscaloosa County Commissioner.

He said his family supported him throughout his campaigns, but he did not realize what an impact it had had on them until he won in 2005.

“My family supported me, but I didn’t realize what an impact it had on them, the disappointment time and time again,” Howard said. “I didn’t consider it until the last time when I won and my daughter said to me, ‘Dad if you had lost, I don’t think I could have taken it.’ Then, I realized what it must have been like for them.”

Howard said he reluctantly felt a need to seek public office.

“I felt that I had something to contribute,” Howard said. “And I felt an obligation to throw my hat in the ring.”

Howard said he felt some things in the community needed to be done.

“District 1 was not getting any representation,” Howard said. “We have done more in the last three or four years than had been done in the last 20 years.”