HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle delivered his State of the City of address Friday afternoon at the Von Braun Center. The mayor, who’s now in his second term, covered a range of subjects including efficiency in government, teamwork, partnerships and the future.
“The state of your city is good,” Battle told the crowd of city and county officials, business leaders, and community members.
Mayor Battle said he takes pride in the fact that Huntsville is fiscally stable, operating with a balanced budget, holds a AAA bond rating and that’s only the tip of the iceberg.
“We are growing,” said Battle. “We are safe, with an affordable quality of life few cities can match.”
Mayor Battle shared successes like the 18-minute daily commute, free Wi-Fi in parks and community centers and economic growth.
“The city issued an additional 2,100 business licenses in 2012 and we’re being recognized nationally,” said Battle.
The mayor says accomplishing those things has been an effort in creativity and innovation on the part of city leaders.
“Government can’t simply focus on doing more with less,” explained Battle. “We must look at how we can be even better.”
By better, Battle means creating jobs, attracting more young professionals to Huntsville and developing partnerships that will move the city forward.
“Government can’t do it all,” said Battle. “Government can’t afford it all and a smart city knows it’s about partnerships. We accomplish more when we work together.”
Mayor Battle unveiled his plans for the future of the city. One of his intentions is to recreate John Hunt Park.
During his speech, Mayor Battle showed a video highlighting some of the details which include putting in hiking and bike trails, a new children’s playground, a 4,000-seat indoor arena and an outdoor amphitheater for festivals and events.
The mayor pointed out that his master plan involves a lot of teamwork.
“For Huntsville to excel, to continue our focus on job creation and workforce development, it will take all of us working together,” said Battle.
Huntsville City Council members in attendance couldn’t agree more.
“I’m proud that here in the city of Huntsville, we have a mayor and city council that are all working together,” said Councilman Bill Kling, who represents District 4. “We’re listening to the public and we’re trying to come up with innovative ideas.”
“We’ve got Madison County, Madison City and Huntsville all working together with great, big businesses,” said District 3 Councilman John Olshefski. “Of course, the best thing we’ve got is our constituents and they all believe in the future. The only way we can get better is to keep reaching out and that’s what we’re doing.”