A highly decorated soldier, combat veteran and Army aviator, Mayor Bob Bunting served two tours in Vietnam and retired as the Chief of Staff of Fort Rucker in 1989 after a distinguished 30-year career. After retirement, he and his wife, Linda, an Ozark native, settled in Ozark and became active in the Ozark and Fort Rucker communities. During his 12-year-mayoral tenure, he quickly recognized that Fort Rucker was the economic engine that drives the economy across the entire Wiregrass area. With this in mind, he postured the city to be a competitive community for solid economic growth through a number of successful infrastructure and business development initiatives.
Working closely with the Ozark city team, community and state leaders, he successfully led multiple initiatives to achieve the following: expanding the city’s limits from 12 to 54 square miles; constructing a new city hall; adding a new, fully equipped fire station; and building an industrial park with a large manufacturing facility ready to be modified as needed. Blackwell Airport’s runway was extended for corporate aircraft usage as part of the city’s aviation business development plan. The addition of a new Small Business Incubator Center enabled assistance and office space for small business startups as part of the city’s economic development plan. Retail additions along Ozark’s U.S. Highway 231 corridor during Bunting’s tenure include Wal-Mart, nine restaurants, auto part suppliers, building suppliers, gas stations and motels.
Bunting served on the Utilities Board during the time a deep aquifer-sourced water supply was needed that guaranteed Ozark’s independence from other communities. He also co-founded Friends of Fort Rucker, a political action group formed to protect jobs and infrastructure at Fort Rucker during periodic military downsizing. He was co-founder of the Wiregrass forum. His community service includes the following: the First United Methodist Church choir and numerous committees of the church; Boys and Girls Club of Ozark Board; Association of the United States Army; Army Aviation Association of America; AgPlex Authority; Wiregrass Community Foundation Board; Salvation Army Board and Bell Ringer; Board of Trustees for Alabama-Florida Council for Boy Scouts of America; Wiregrass United Way Board; Dale County United Way Board; Honorary Regimental Commander for 1st 14th Aviation Regiment (Ozark’s sister unit); co-chair of Fort Rucker’s Retiree Council; 32nd-Degree Mason; Rotary Club (past member); and chair of Wiregrass Honor Flight (five trips, more than 300 veterans, and more than $300,000).
He is currently serving once again as the Mayor of Ozark.
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