From front, clockwise, Mike Phillips, Howard Wheeler, Jerry Payne, Howard Bailey, Woody Quinn, Neil Bailey and Larry Rollan chew the fat at Fran's Nov. 7. (Reporter photo/Jon Goering)

Archived Story

Locals discuss election at Fran’s

Published 9:28am Wednesday, November 7, 2012

By CHRISTINE BOATWRIGHT / Staff Writer

PELHAM – Over mugs of steaming coffee, a group of local men discussed the presidential election results at Fran’s Restaurant in Pelham.

Neil Bailey, owner of Neil Bailey Insurance and Investments in Pelham, sat at the head of the table and became the first spokesperson for the group of seven.

“We’re just proud to be Americans. Obviously, as Republicans, we didn’t get our wishes,” Bailey said of President Barack Obama’s reelection. “Republicans just didn’t present a proper platform and missed the vote.”

Bailey then commented on the legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado and Washington, as well as the approval of same-sex marriage in Maine and Maryland.

“It’s evident we’re living in a different America,” Bailey said.

In relation to Alabama amendments presented on the ballot, Bailey said he was “pretty satisfied” with the outcome.

Woody Quinn said he wished the restaurant’s late owner, Fran Driver, who passed away in February, was available to give her comments.

“If Mrs. Fran was still here, she’d give you an unbiased opinion, that’s for sure,” Quinn said, smiling.

As a local business owner, Quinn, owner of C&W Drilling Inc. in Columbiana, said his “biggest disappointment” in the election involves business regulations.

“The government has overregulated businesses like mine and Neil (Bailey’s). I was hoping a Republican would make an impact on that. It’s so expensive to operate and the liability is so great.”

Mike Phillips, a local real estate agent, said the government can’t continue “unbridled debt” without an impact on interest rates.

“Sooner or later, it could be next week, next year or four years from now, the competition for money is going to drive interest rates up,” Phillips said.

“Bottom line, we wake up today and keep doing what we’re doing. We keep pedaling,” he added.

Former Alabaster Police Chief Larry Rollan walked into Fran’s to join the group.

“I voted no-Bama,” Rollan announced to the table as he sat down.

Bailey said the split in U.S. Congress, with the Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Democratic majority in the U.S. Senate, the systems will eventually be brought back to the middle, “where we seem to be the best.”

“We’ve got to keep our country solvent and preserve our country for future generations,” he said. “When it’s all said and done, I’m still glad to be here.”

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