HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Tommy Battle is wrapping up the first year of his second term as Huntsville mayor. Ask Battle what his administration’s biggest accomplishment has been in 2013 and he can’t narrow it down to one thing. He’s quick to point to roads and leadership training where city employees learn how to better do their jobs. “We made a conscious effort after the first term that we were going to turn inward a little bit,” said Battle, “And make sure that we did the job that we’re supposed to do on a day to day basis as good as it can be done.”
When asked if there have been any disappointments this year, he responded by saying, “You go through years and there are always ups and downs every year. That’s part of life but mostly, this has been a great year. We have 34 industrial prospects sitting out there looking to work with.”
But mayor Battle isn’t just focusing on the Rocket City. He knows being able to recruit new jobs to the Tennessee valley is a win for everyone. “We have a lot of opportunity for job growth and that job growth isn’t just for Huntsville. It’s for Huntsville, Madison County, the whole north Alabama area so I see promising things on the horizon,” said Battle.
So what is he looking forward to in 2014? He says, “I think I`m looking forward to some terrific job prospects in 2014.”
And he feels like Huntsville is right on the edge of seeing a lot of growth in the next five to ten years. “We will continue to grow,” says Battle. “Our challenge with that growth is to make sure that it is smart growth, planned growth, to make sure that we have the same quality of life tomorrow as we have today.”
Last year when we sat down with him around this same time, we asked him to finish this statement, In 2013, I resolve to… His response was, “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.” So was the mayor able to keep that resolution this year? This is how he answered that question, “We’d just gone through elections. We had new leaders in place, the mayor of Madison, the new county commission chairman. And I’d just come through my first term but I think everybody’s been able to work well together. Now, we are family and in families, you have family spats. That’s natural but after those, you come back together and you are family.”
Mayor Battle says he sees Madison mayor Troy Trulock and Madison County commission chair Dale Strong so often at meetings and events, the three have gotten to be good friends. That close relationship benefits us all as the three work together for the common good of the area.