Bill Proctor: A Man Committed to Service

Leon County Commissioner Bill Proctor has devoted his life to service. Whether raising his family, teaching at Florida A&M or leading a church service, Proctor commits himself entirely. “I understand that in my one life I am called to serve, and the servant gives. The servant is not to take,” Proctor told The FAMUAN.

Proctor teaches political science at FAMU. He is also an assistant minister at Bethel African Methodist Episcopal (AME). He earned a bachelor’s degree in communications at Howard University followed by a Juris doctorate at the university’s School of Law. Next, Proctor studied theology at Boston University’s School of Theology, The Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta Ga., and the Wesley Seminary in Washington, D.C.

Proctor’s constituents voted him as county commissioner five times since 1996. Before running for office, Proctor worked as a special assistant for former Florida Governor Lawton Chiles and as a secretary for the senate of the state. He has been a member of the Board of Trustees at Howard University’s School of Law.

“I tend to operate in terms of things that I feel inspired to pursue,” responded Proctor to questions about his becoming a commissioner.

Proctor’s goal in politics is changing the mindset of old institutions. Race is still an issue and he says he wants to level the playing field. “How do you get the people to stand up for themselves and say something?” he asked. “County commission has been giving money to white business owners for so long, so to get them to give money to minorities is a challenge. Whites get hired and get promotions and blacks don’t.”

Proctor considers himself a servant willing to lay down his life to give far more than he is willing to receive. “I give all I got all the time,” he said.

However, He and the IRS disagree on whether he was giving enough. According to the Tallahassee Democrat, The Internal Revenue ordered authorities to garnish Proctor’s wages for unpaid taxes from 2006 through 2009. The IRS claims that the commissioner owes $59,386.01 for the three years.

Tallahassee resident Steve Pierre said, “I can imagine that this will be damaging but the works that he has done for this county are remarkable.”

Having served at the federal level and now at the local level, Proctor encourages his students to be sharp, engaging, and critical in their thoughts. He admits to conducting a chaotic classroom at times because he believes in inspiring a student to stand in front of 60 other classmates to defend a certain philosophy and fearlessly state his or her reasons why.

“He is an unbelievable professor. He continuously pushes his students to seek the knowledge which is at their fingertips,” said Ranesha Hill, a graduate psychology student. “He has the ability to merge his political skills with the knowledge and concepts which he presents in the classroom.”

Proctor’s vision for the county includes relocating the fairgrounds, creating central sewage and opening a new high school for Tallahassee’s south side and starting new entertainment venues like bowling alleys and restaurants.

For the moment, Proctor has no plans of pursuing any other elected positions. “It’s not the title in front of your name but it’s what’s in you,” he said.