Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

Pickens Official Will Run Again

Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

Pickens Official Will Run Again

Article excerpt

Incumbent Pickens County Judge of Probate John Earl Paluzzi has announced his candidacy for a second term and has qualified to run for the Democratic nomination.

"The most difficult thing we have in Pickens County and the other rural counties is shortage of funds," Paluzzi said. "Unless we have a sharp turnaround in the economy, we're going to have to watch every penny. I've had the experience for a term now of dealing with that same problem. We know what we have to do to run the office and be an efficient probate office, but at the same time to serve the people."

In addition to soundly managing the probate office finances, Paluzzi said it is important that people feel welcome when they come into the office to do business and that they shouldn't have to stand in long lines.

"I think we've doing a good job of moving people through the office," Paluzzi said.

The probate judge must also oversee legal proceeding such as commitment hearings, adoption hearings, condemnations and real estate disputes. Paluzzi said his experience as a practicing attorney has helped him handle the workload of legal cases.

"From a legal standpoint, I've kept the office from suffering from any backlog of cases," Paluzzi said. "We've been able to move cases through so they don't sit on the docket for a long time."

Although the probate judge is no longer the chairman of the Pickens County Commission, the office is still a leadership position in the county. Paluzzi said he worked closely with other public officials to bring the new federal prison to Aliceville.

Aliceville had to compete with other sites in Louisiana, North Carolina and Virginia for the women's medium security facility.

"I went to all the meetings in a show of support," Paluzzi said. "Every time the officials from the Bureau of Prisons were in town, they contacted me. I think the show of support that the Bureau of Prisons saw from the public officials was important in helping to select Aliceville as the site."

Paluzzi believes the community will reap many benefits from the new prison.

"The Aliceville prison will be an economic benefit to our entire county and it is now in the process of being staffed, and should be fully operational within the next 12 months," he said. …

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