Cullman Magazine Winter 2018 - Page 13

Cullman Profile Eyes open headed toward the future: Cullman City Council President By BENJAMIN BULLARD D Jenny Folsom espite her famous last name, Jenny Folsom doesn’t consider herself a natural politi- cian.  Even as she enters a new chapter in local gov- ernment, taking over the reins from newly-elected Alabama Sen. Garlan Gudger as president of the Cullman City Council, the three-term council member says she married into politics — but it was never a path the retired educator envisioned for herself. “Oh, my late husband, Jack, would be slapping his knee and hee-hawing if he could see that I’ve got- ten into politics,” she jokes. “I didn’t get that gene. He passed away in 2005, and I was at a place in life where I was getting ready to retire; looking; trying to think of something else I could do. Well, this town raised me, and I had a couple of people mention the city council to me, and so I decided to run.” Folsom did run, and won, in 2008, on her first try. And despite having spent much of her adult life around Folsom family in-laws who moved, with great success, in political circles far beyond Cull- man’s borders, it was still a learning experience. “I did not realize how involved it would be — go to a couple of meetings; cut a couple of ribbons,” she confesses. “But it’s much more involved than that.” Since joining the city council in 2008, Folsom has remained with an elected group of officials whose personnel lineup has changed little over the past ten years. But in that time, Cullman itself has seen a lot of changes. There’ve been lean financial times that led to tough but necessary decisions, and, more recently, better times that have allowed the council to take a more discretionary approach to the city’s future. Cullman magazine | WINTER 2018 13