Scotty Bailey retires after 48 years
Former Carroll County Road Supervisor Scotty Bailey spent 48 years seeing that county roads were in good condition for travel. He lives in the Huntingdon area on Highway 77 and served District 2 that entailed 370 miles of roads in the areas of Huntingdon, McLemoresville, Bruceton, Hollow Rock, McKenzie and Vale.
He decided this past year that he would not be a candidate for re-election in the Aug. 4 election.
“It’s been a good career for me and I have enjoyed working for the county,” he said. “I accomplished what I set out to do – to make the roads better to drive on.”
He spent 20 years as an employee of the Highway Department, starting in 1974, and was elected seven times as road supervisor for 28 years of service. He worked with supervisors Joe Bryant, Jim Cawthon, Robert Hester, Jack Ray and James Townsend over the years.
During his tenure, he run a road grader, drove both the tire and gravel trucks and other pieces of equipment as needed as well.
“I was one of those guys that paid attention and listened,” said Scotty. “I learned a lot from James Townsend. “He was very knowledgeable about the roads.”
In the mid 80’s more money became available and the roads started getting a lot better, he said.
“My main goal was to get people off gravel roads and onto blacktop and I accomplished that in the early 2000’s.”
What the county terms as blacktop are mostly tar and chip and asphalt.
“This makes good roads for the money,” said Scotty.
The availability of more money for the roads has made the biggest change in the working of the Carroll County Highway Department. More trucks, a track hoe and road graders, the primary pieces of equipment, needed to keep the roads in shape, could be purchased.
At one time there were four road supervisors, he, Ricky Scott, Dennis Parker and Nolen Robinson. They were the last four before it was changed to two in 2014. Today, Ricky, who lives in the Clarksburg area, is the other supervisor that serves District 1.
“The system worked better with two bosses than with four,” said Scotty.
Weather was always a factor in keeping the roads in good condition. Scotty recalls the worst two instances in which the weather caused a real problem with the roads making them impassable and causing closures.
He said the winter of ’77 and ’78 was one of the worst ever.
“It came a blizzard,” he said. “The ground stayed frozen for six weeks and no work could be done and there was little money available to do anything.”
Then in 2011 came the flood. The employees were called out because roads were washed and they had to put up signs so the motoring public would remain safe.
Over the years he has helped out the towns of McKenzie, Huntingdon and McLemoresville with various road projects. Through an agreement between the cities and the highway department the cities paid for the work.
In 2008 the present Highway Department building became a reality. The former highway shop behind the new building provided a place for much of the equipment to be stored.
He and his wife, Nellie have two children, son, Scotty II, and daughter, Tracy (Robin) Jones. The grandchildren are Jada and Jordan Jones, Macee, Ryleigh and Alyssa Bailey,Lani Batey and Keleah (Scott) Smith. There are two great grandchildren, Brentley and Ryan Smith.
While his children were growing up, Scotty coached Little League baseball which he says he enjoyed very much.
Since he retired, he and his wife can work together daily and have already been hired at such a job.
He will also have more time to hunt deer and turkey which are favorite past times.
His retirement was celebrated on Aug. 25 at the Highway Department. County Mayor Joseph Butler presented Scotty with a proclamation that noted his appreciation for his years of service and a gold pocket watch. A blue Case pocket knife and plaque were gifts from the Highway Department employees. Another plaque was presented by the Tennessee County Roads Association Region 4.
Scotty says he has enjoyed his many years of working at the Highway Department and his association with the employees.
He says he will never forget the farmers who brought out their tractors and equipment and worked free to get roads passable in bad weather.
“I always wanted to make the roads better for people to drive on and do what was right,” he said. “I took currins, but went on my way and did my job. I always told the employees that we work for all of Carroll County. It takes people working together to get the job done.”