Former Dawson County Sheriff Billy Carlisle announced Thursday that he will be running for a seat on the Dawson County Board of Commissioners this year.
He will be running for the District 3 commission seat, currently held by Jimmy Hamby.
Hamby announced Jan. 18 that he would not be seeking a third term of office. His current term expires Dec. 31.
Carlisle, 56, was the Dawson County sheriff for 20 years, and retired in December 2016 to travel and continue work at his company, American Dream Vacations.
He came to work at the sheriff’s office in 1987, holding multiple roles before beginning his first term as sheriff in 1997.
Carlisle said that though he has only been retired for a year, he is ready to get back to work for the citizens of Dawson County, the part he misses most about his old job.
“I don’t have any long term goals right now, I just enjoy working with the people and this will give me the opportunity to work with the people,” Carlisle said.
Carlisle said he planned to run for a commission seat long before he even retired from the sheriff’s office.
“When I lived in District 4 I thought I would run when [Julie Hughes Nix’s] term was up, but then I moved to District 3,” Carlisle said. When Hamby announced he would not run again for the spot, Carlisle said, he decided now was his chance.
“If I get in there and get elected I’ll do my best to listen to the citizens and find out what they need, because when I was in office I always had an open door policy and I hope to continue that,” Carlisle said.
His years of experience budgeting for the needs of the sheriff’s office will come in handy should he be elected to the commission, Carlisle said.
“When I was in office we went through some hard times and money just wasn’t coming in, and all of the elected officials worked together towards a common goal,” he said.
He also had some advice for the current sheriff, Jeff Johnson, who is suing the commission for more money in his 2018 budget.
“It’s a bad situation from what I understand,” Carlisle said. “There needs to be negotiation between the two groups. When I was sheriff, you had a list of what you wanted but you also knew you couldn’t get it all at once, it was give and take. The commission needs to find out what he actually needs to run his department and work on a plan to get there.”
Qualifying begins in March with a fee of $288 for both the District 1 and District 3 commission seats.