Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle Talks Running for Office, Economy, and Projects

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - This past week Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle announced he was not going to run for governor.  To some, that announcement was a bit of a surprise, but Battle says he still has a lot to do as mayor.

Battle sat down with WHNT News for this week's Leadership Perspectives interview.  We begin with the mayor answering the question -- is he through considering running for another office during this mayoral term?

“I've got one of the best jobs in the world. I've got one of the best leadership groups to work with that you can find," said Battle. "I'm very satisfied with what I'm doing, and very satisfied to get us through these things we've gotten started, but we need to finish."

Battle also talked about a possible third term as Huntsville mayor. "Bud Cramer said it best. We were talking about his 18 years in Congress. He said it got to the point, as long as it's fun, you need to do it. And if you're enjoying yourself and progressing, making progress, that you're doing, what we ultimately want to do is make good things happen, then you ought to do it,” said Battle. “As long as you've got that, you've still got a passion for the job and you need to do that.”

That progress hasn’t been easy, given the economic recession the U.S. has been bouncing back from. Huntsville, like most other places, has certainly had to deal with job losses and other struggles. Battle spoke about where he believes Huntsville’s economic footing is currently.

“We're on the cusp of great things happening… Economically we've got some announcements coming up that I think will be very good in the number of jobs coming in. I don't think we've heard the last of Boeing to this state. I think there'll be some spinoffs to the Boeing project. And then we've got another 20 something projects which are active at the Chamber of Commerce right now,” said Battle.

Battle added that we would see jobs announcements in the next couple of months that will be very special.

Other large projects, like a new city hall building and a new ball park in the downtown area, have been put on the backburner while Battle’s team focuses on economy and roads. But, according to Battle, the timing just isn’t right.

"When the time is right, some of these will come back into play, but the most important thing is that legislation has passed that we will spend a minimum of $25 million a year on road construction… That keeps us ahead of our infrastructure. That keeps us in place. We still have our capital fund, which we have $27 million a year which we spend for our capital fund, and that goes for fire stations, police stations and anything that is a long term capital gain and that minor collector roads and things like that,” said Battle.