“My name is Neal Wooten and I am announcing my bid for a seat on the Fort Payne City Council.”
Wooten has been the curator of the Fort Payne Depot Museum for three years, and in that time he says he has secured over $50,000 in grants, which have been utilized for, among other things, new custom display cases, a train playground, and the Traveling Trunks program to aid local elementary teachers with free ready-made teaching resources.
He said he is invited frequently to speak to local high school students and read to elementary and Head Start kids.
“I just helped secure two grants for Fort Payne Main Street: one for a children’s art project, and one to help downtown businesses pay their rents during these trying times,” he said. “I helped with the Alabama Bicentennial when it came to Fort Payne and have helped with the restoration of Manitou Cave. I have organized and hosted many community events including an art auction for local artists and a Gala fundraiser that brought two other comedians down from New York City. I have been doing standup comedy for over 30 years, but I take the improvement of our community very seriously.”
Wooten said he was born in the now “crumbling former Fort Payne General Hospital”, and although his travels have taken me far and wide, this has always been home.
“Speaking of which, I’ll be glad to see something more productive finally happen with that property, as well as a lot of the great buildings we still have here, ghostly remnants of our unique hosiery industry. We truly have the resources to bring businesses here from all over the world.”
Wooten has published a number of books and written for a local newspaper for more than a decade.
“I own several properties in Fort Payne, have a book publishing company, which mainly focuses on positive children’s books, and I have been writing for the Mountain Valley News for over 13 years,” he said. “I have had 17 of my own books published, several of which became best-sellers, including “Granny Dollar”, a novel about a Cherokee legend from the Fort Payne area, and “Reternity”, a Christian novel that has won ten national book awards.”
“As a small business owner, I know the struggles all too well. If you elect me to serve you, I promise I will put the same effort I put into the Depot Museum and the same effort I put into my books, to make this an even more awesome town.”