(Extensions of Remarks - December 05, 2013)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E1800]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []



                          HON. SPENCER BACHUS

                               of alabama

                    in the house of representatives

                       Thursday, December 5, 2013

  Mr. BACHUS. Mr. Speaker, on the occasion of her retirement from my 
office, it is my pleasure to recognize the lifetime of public service 
that Betty Jean Robinson Bennett has provided to Chilton County, the 
State of Alabama, and our country.
  For a Member of Congress, a staple of good representation is 
listening to the concerns of constituents and addressing community 
needs identified by local officials and business, education, 
agricultural, and civic leaders. The role of the congressional field 
representative is essential to connecting what is happening on a daily 
basis in our communities to the work being done in the U.S. Congress. 
In Betty Bennett, I have had an effective, dedicated, and loyal staff 
member who has helped me to represent the Sixth District in Washington.
  Betty, or ``Miss Betty'' as she is affectionately known, has deep 
roots in Chilton County. She attended Clanton Elementary School and 
Clanton Junior High School and graduated from Chilton County High 
School with honors and responsibilities including her position as 
editor of the school magazine in her senior year and membership in the 
National Beta Club.
  In 1968, Betty began an association with government service and 
political activity that became a lifetime vocation. Her career and 
experiences provide a fascinating reflection on Alabama's recent 
political history. One of many originally-enrolled Democrats to later 
join the Republican Party on principle, Betty is the only person to 
have been the President of both the Democrat and Republican Women's 
Clubs in Chilton County. She continues to serve on the Chilton County 
Republican Executive Committee and on the Alabama Republican Executive 
Committee representing Chilton County.
  Betty's leadership skills were recognized when she was chosen as the 
Selective Service Director for the State of Alabama, a presidentially-
appointed position, in May 1990. She was recommended by Governor Guy 
Hunt and appointed by President George H.W. Bush through the National 
Director of the Selective Service System, Samuel K. Lessey, Jr. Betty 
was the first woman to serve as a state director and is the only woman 
to ever serve in that capacity in Alabama.
  As director, Betty coordinated the appointment of all local Selective 
Service Boards and directed personnel in three National Guard and 
Reserve Unit detachments in Montgomery and Birmingham. She was awarded 
the Distinguished Service Medal of Alabama by Governor Hunt for her 
achievements after being nominated by officers of the National Guard 
and Reserve and the Alabama Adjutant General.
  Betty began her congressional duties in January 1997 as a field 
representative for then-Congressman Bob Riley in the Third District. 
She joined my staff in January 2003 after Bob was elected Governor of 
Alabama and has provided more than a decade of diligent service to the 
people of the Sixth District.
  During that time, Betty has ably represented my office during the 
development of a number of important projects, including the 
establishment of the Jefferson State Chilton-Clanton Center. With her 
deep knowledge, she has always been my liaison to the agricultural 
community and has worked closely with the Alabama Farmers Federation, 
whose President Jimmy Parnell is also from Chilton County. Betty is an 
advocate for the local peach industry and can always be counted on for 
her support of the Chilton County Peach Festival. Above all, Betty has 
always cared about helping people and finding solutions to problems.
  Betty's service and love of her home county has been commemorated, 
appropriately enough, at Chilton County High School. In 2006, then-
Principal Larry McHaffey started the Betty Robinson Bennett Leadership 
Scholarship for a senior exhibiting academic achievement as well as 
leadership in school, community, and church activities. What was more 
meaningful to Betty than a scholarship being named in her honor, I am 
sure, is the help it offered to a student and future leader.
  On Friday, December 6, Betty's legacy of service will be celebrated 
during a reception at Jemison City Hall. Her many friends know very 
well that ``retirement'' is just a word to Betty and that she will 
remain visible and active in her community for many years to come.
  Let me close by again expressing my appreciation to Betty for her 
service to my office, the people of the Sixth District, and the State 
of Alabama during a most remarkable career.