HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Mayor Tommy Battle delivered Huntsville's annual State of the City Address Thursday afternoon. He spent much of the time discussing how the city has grown in the last few decades.
"If you're in this crowd, you are part of the partnership that had made us a success. You have made a success as a community and as a region, we lead the state," said Battle.
He mentioned that Huntsville is one of the best cities for job growth in the country. Battle said more than 20,000 jobs have been added in the past 10 years.
"Within a 40-mile radius, there are now 1.2 million people making our regional market numbers highly attractive. The reason that is so important is workforce development. That is the one question we get when we have groups come in. Do you have the workforce to provide for my company and we can say yes," said Battle.
He said the most significant challenges the city faces is finding out ways to keep up with infrastructure, education and quality of life.
"We're all in this together. We didn't get to this point, and we didn't move forward alone. We worked together. In times of uncertainty and lack of confidence in government I think we are proof that smart, transparent government can work," Battle explained.
The mayor told the audience that the big master plan for the next 20 to 30 years will focus on the revitalization of downtown. Battle also played a video during the address that focused on how Huntsville is a tech-smart city that's expected to be the largest city in Alabama by 2025.
WHNT also spoke with Battle about the progress of his campaign for Governor.
"We 've got great people who work for us and work with us. We've been able to make job announcements over the past 90 days that have been great job announcements, and that's in spite of being out trying to run for governor and everything. It all fits together and is very important to us," said Battle.
The candidate said the campaign trail has been treating him well.
"The main message is that people are looking for someone who is outside of Montgomery, someone who will look at things differently and someone who has a track record and I think we can say that this community has a track record of success," said Battle.
Battle has completed one round of campaigning across the state. He anticipates visiting all communities around the state four times before the election.