HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle was able to work in a little vacation time around the holidays. But the leader of Alabama’s second largest city is ready to get back to work as we head into the new year.
Tommy Battle describes his first four years in office as good ones. “I think our biggest accomplishment has been making sure the people trust their government,” Battle says.
He won re-election in August and was sworn in for a second term in November. The mayor says earning and keeping the trust of the people is one of the biggest battles he fights every day. He says, “Our whole thrust has been to make sure that people understand that we’re going to do the right thing with their money. “
He’s especially proud of projects like Redstone Gateway, the Belk Hudson Lofts, a new urban development near downtown and future development of John Hunt Park. “We’ve got a lot of job prospects sitting out there,” says Battle. “There are a lot of industries looking at Huntsville as a place to come to.”
He’s proud of Huntsville becoming the second largest city in our state. “It’s very exciting to be a large city with growth. And you want to have growth but you want planned growth,” he says. “You’ve got to have smart growth. You’ve got to make sure that we grow not so exponentially that we become an Atlanta but we grow and still have that quality of life.”
Mayor Battle says his administration works on that daily. “We are in an enviable position. We can pick and choose what industries we want to bring to our city and in doing that we can make sure that we maintain our quality of life.”
In the spirit of the holidays, I asked the mayor what he wanted for Christmas. His answer was simply this, “All I want for Christmas is for the federal government to solve their problems and let us know what the future is right there.”
And in 2013 Battle resolves, “That we’re all going to work together and that’s got to be our resolve. That’s got to be our resolve, city and county government, the city of Madison, with the state legislature, with the state of Alabama. We’ve all got to maintain our focus that we’re going to work together.”
Mayor Battle says that includes respecting others ideas, wishes, wants and needs. “We’ve got a good thing going. Our job and our charge is to keep it going,” he says.
As the old saying goes, time will tell.