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One Monticello Life – Robert Akin – Candidate for Drew County Judge

November 4th, 2012 by

“I’m a natural born leader,” Robert Akin, independent county judge candidate, said.

Demonstrating leadership started as early as grade school and continued through high school and into the workforce. He mentioned always being a leader in clubs in high school including running the rodeo club, which sent and paid kids’ way to nationals. Akin presided as president of the State Chuck Wagon Association with 700 members. This organization worked with special needs kids through Ark of Arkansas and Sunshine School by putting on rodeos for them. He served as vice president of Maintenance Local at the Pine Bluff paper mill requiring him to represent and negotiate contracts for 400 people.

Akin demonstrated leadership in all of those positions, but he said, “I’ve been chosen more so as a leader … people would come up to me when they knew I would make a stand for what’s right.”

Akin chose to run for Drew County Judge earlier this year. He said, “I want to be the engine but I want all the people of the county to be the cars of this train because it’s an ‘us’ thing not an ‘I’ thing.”

Akin comes from a large family. His grandparents, the late Doctor Busby and Louise Busby, had seven kids, which Akin’s mother, Pat Busby, stood as the oldest. His mother married George Akin who worked at Safe Way. His grandmother, mother and wife all served in the school system in Monticello.

He said he participated a lot in sports and rodeo growing up. He attended Monticello public schools and went through vocational school through his high school years to become a certified welder.

Akin married his high school sweetheart and they have been married for 31 years. He and his wife have two daughters, Britney and Kinsley Akin, and also a grandson, Boston Akin. They are also members of Pauline Baptist Church.

During his working years, Akin worked in construction and paper mills until he started Monarch Construction, which worked in the maintenance area of paper mills, chemical plants and industrial construction through contracts. All in all, he said 30 years of construction, logistics and management background total his working past and help equip him with the skills necessary to serve as county judge.

“As far as I know, I’m the only candidate that has owned his own business in the private sector,” Akin said. “It’s going to help me as far as being able to treat people a little different,” especially people employed by the county.

When discussing the position of county judge Akin suggested the county be governed with cooperation and coordination as important values to follow. He said the outer towns such as Wilmar, Tillar and others’ mayors should participate and work together; working together is imperative to making a better county.

Akin said, “I’m a people person; and have been all my life and it doesn’t matter what level you’re at I’m going to talk to you. And I think that really helps. I agree with what a guy told me the other day that ‘how smart a person is at what level they can talk to somebody.’”

Communication stands as another high valued characteristic in Akin. He stressed communication and that he really wanted people to feel comfortable talking with him, coming to the office and communicating how they felt and what they believed need to be fix. He said, “I’ll have an open-door policy … because communication is the number one thing to me.” Plus, how can problems and issues be fixed without being brought to the table, and how can the right things be reinforced if they aren’t mentioned either?

As far as some of Akin’s plans for Drew County if elected, he discussed working with the higher ups in the government including the senators and governor, working on the low-income aspect of Southeast Ark., and working on the county directly with projects such as the inter-modem project.

He said, “I’m not going to upset the turnip wagon right off the bat, but if changes are needed, I’ll have the insight to know if we need change and make any corrections where necessary.”

The county judge should communicate and work with the governor to get things done in the county whether it’s an emergency or not. This help for the county could come in the form of monetary aids among other things to benefit the county where it needs it most. Akin believes his choice to run as an independent will help him get this done and that it will make communicating with the senators and governor more effective.

He mentioned that Southeast Ark. falls in the low income bracket and that we need to try to get help financially. He said a good grant writer for the county would help to get the money here that the county needs. He mentioned he already found a qualified person, but that information will come in the future.

Something that would also benefit Drew County financially focuses on investment within. “I’m saying invest in people with good ideas and good business plans. Our town is made up of homemade businesses and companies,” Akin said.

A topic he spoke much on involved the inter modem project on 278 East that Drew County and Bradley County teamed up on to get completed to benefit both. The finished product will serve as a railway, highway and waterway transportation system.

“To me it is not something that is wasteful; it’s a need,” Akin said. “It’s imperative that we get this thing off the ground; we’ve already spent too much money.”

Manufactures and people that will use it, such as JB Hunt, Snyder, among other companies and manufacturers must help support, Akin said. We got to get the infrastructure together first though. He said that it does work and can put a lot of people to work once it gets going, which would be tremendous for Drew County.

All in all, “We have to sell our product, and our product is our good town and community,” Akin said

Akin, with all his work and life experience, placed himself in the position to run for county judge. He said he has the backing of family and friends and also has the connection throughout this town in the education, construction, medical and government fields to inspire and help him do what is right for the people.

“I don’t take this lightly; for the people by the people is a big word,” Akin said. “With all the experience I’ve had in the past, I think that everything that has prepared me through life is to make honorable decisions, right and wrong. Let’s just do what’s right, that’s kind of my motto.”

He also said that God, family and country served the as the values he holds dear. He chose those because he grew up in a church, his family’s support and love help him greatly and his country because we could have been born anywhere.

When asked how he decompresses after a long day, Akin said he turns to his dogs who give him his down time. He owns three Labradors and three other smaller dogs that he lets out and runs every morning and evening. He said they give him everything including their heart and they ask for nothing. Akin explained demonstrated his close bond with his canine pals and anyone who owns a pet knows that they are more than just pets; they are family too.

Akin stressed and reiterated the fact that we as humans need to not forget how to achieve. Achieving and moving forward as individuals, communities, counties and larger keeps us bettering ourselves and the environment we live in. We don’t need to become complacent but keep achieving instead.

Akin said, “Let’s get together and do good for the people. If we do what is right and make good common sense decisions it would outweigh what we got going right now.”

One Response to “One Monticello Life – Robert Akin – Candidate for Drew County Judge”

  1. Cindy Akin says:

    Robert forgot to mention that he was also elected to serve on the city council but had to give up his position just before the end of his term because we moved out of the city limits. (And I promise he didn’t want to give it up! But I wanted the house and he wanted me happy so reluctantly, he chose my happiness! LOL!)

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