10 Questions With…Dearl Hilyer, Thorsby Mayor
By Scott Mims
Editor’s note: We sat down with Thorsby Mayor Dearl Hilyer and asked him 10 questions about his role in the community. Following is each question that was presented and what he had to say:
Q: How long has your family lived in Thorsby?
A: I have lived in the town of Thorsby 18 of the last 20 years. I was raised in the Pates Chapel community prior to moving to Thorsby and moved to Pensacola, Fla. in 2003-05. My wife is Nicole (Parrish) Hilyer, daughters Ashlin, 17, and Anna Grace, 10, who attend Thorsby High School. I also lost a son, Aaron Hilyer, three years ago in a car accident.
Q: What do you enjoy most about your job?
A: When I am part of a decision that has a positive impact on the town or a citizen. I also enjoy learning the history of Thorsby from citizens who were a part of it.
Q: What is the most difficult part, and why?
A: Saying no. Everyone’s problem is what’s most important to them, and there are a lot of times that by rule or being fair and consistent you cannot help them and must say no.
Q: In what capacities have you served the town, and for how long?
A: Mayor nine months, park and recreation board five years.
Q: What seems to be the biggest point of concern among the people of Thorsby? How is the town addressing it?
A: Speeding, dogs, unsightly yards, and lack of business. We are spending time patrolling in target areas of complaints of speeding. We created a joint effort with the city of Jemison for a qualified animal control specialist. We enforce the town ordinance for people who refuse to keep their yards up. We are collecting data for potential businesses to review and consider the town of Thorsby for growth.
Q: What kind of work did you do prior to becoming mayor?
A: I was Environmental Health and Safety Complex Manager for International Paper. I have been involved with facilities in Thorsby, Opelika, Maplesville, Citronelle and McDavid, Fla.
Q: Why did you run for mayor?
A: I wanted to get involved and felt like I had some things to offer. I started attending the council meetings and planned on running for Town Council and from some positive encouragement from my wife we decided to run for mayor.
Q: What is your favorite hobby?
A: I enjoy coaching kids, car shows with my ’72 Chevy pickup, Alabama football and serving in my church.
Q: What is your favorite food?
A: Barbecue chicken, baked beans, corn on the cob, cherry crème pie.
Q: Were you named after anyone, or is Dearl an original name in your family?
A: My father’s name is Charles Dearl Hilyer. His mother was running out of names with “Earl” in it and created Dearl so they could all rhyme. His brothers are Thomas Earl, Ray Gearld, and sister Barbra Meryl.