With 111 days to go until the August 28th municipal election, Mayor Tommy Battle announced his plan Tuesday to keep moving Huntsville forward.
Battle says his eight-facet plan is not specifically designed for an election campaign, but is a continuation of what his administration had been working toward over the last three and a half years.
"Our plan for moving Huntsville forward will improve every area of our city – north to south – east to west," says Battle.
The eight areas the plan focuses on are jobs, economic development, fiscal responsibility, reinventing government, roads, education, parks and recreation and public safety.
Here is a breakdown of Battle's key points:
- Diversify our economy by recruiting new businesses to our city focused on high growth areas (Cyber, Energy, Space and Geospatial).
- Working with area institutions of higher learning to develop that entrepreneur in the marketplace that can take existing technology and make it into a commercial enterprise.
- Working with the Chamber of Commerce we have created a citywide job-creation program that matches underemployed and unemployed workers with a local business.
- Promote existing companies to help them expand their base and employment in the Huntsville area and work to keep more work local.
- Continue to work to bring more jobs to Huntsville in diverse and new economic areas.
- Work to keep our cost of living low .
- Build on the momentum of our interactive “IDEAS Map” and keep recruiting new and requested stores, restaurants and retail to our city.
- Continue to balance Huntsville’s budget.
- Continue to be fiscally conservative government and work to keep our bond rating at the highest possible level. We are the first administration in the City’s history to achieve the AAA rating by S&P and Moody’s. Huntsville was the first municipality in the state to receive this rating.
- Keep our City Reserves at historic levels; reserves are at their highest level in Huntsville’s history.
- Continue to reduce the size of our government workforce and continue to build a leaner, more effective and responsive government that does more with less.
- Bring one stop shopping for permitting, electronic registration and licensing to our government. Our small business people are the life blood of our city – and we will work tirelessly to make their experience doing business with Huntsville a positive one.
- Grow our wellness/ health initiative for employees gives that will reduce health care costs.
- Streamline City Hall procedures for businesses and residents.
- Hire a true Urban Planner to help our city reach its potential and grow into the 21st century.
- Aggressively lobby state and federal officials for more funding to start and complete needed road projects.
- Huntsville today gets 97 cents back for every dollar sent to Montgomery in Highway Taxes (under previous administrations, we received 53 cents back)
- Continue to work on future road projects. The northern bypass, overpasses at Lilly Flag/ Byrd Springs and the Parkway are all projects we will continue to work on.
- Keep working on the Battle Book Club (that has provided more than 30,000 books for students across the city).
- Continue to support the superintendent and school board as they work to make Huntsville schools the best in the state.
PARKS & RECREATION
- Continue to expand Big Spring Park and aggressively work to expand Huntsville’s greenways plan across all areas of our city.
- Renovate, update and expand John Hunt Park in the City’s core.
- Explore the feasibility of building urban parks along Memorial Parkway to help improve those areas- provide more recreational opportunities and continue to enhance our city’s quality of life.
- Build a new CoH park, or update or expand existing ones, in each district across our city. Plans also include a completely renovated and expanded John Hunt Park in the City’s core.
- Create an interactive map that lets our residents see where crime is happening in our city and work with our incredible Neighborhood Watch programs, CrimeStoppers programs and growing and expanding neighborhood associations to create a city-wide awareness campaign.
- Continue to add police officers and firefighters to the workforce so that we can keep up with our ever-growing city.