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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle delivered his annual State of the City on Wednesday.

The mayor spoke at a luncheon hosted by the Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville-Madison County in the Von Braun Center North Hall.

The ticketed event was sold-out, with more than a thousand people in attendance.

Now in his third term, this was the mayor’s eighth State of the City.

He told the crowd, “when we started eight years ago, it was a challenging time. We didn’t have the best working relationships with our state and regional partners. Our education system was unequal and financially troubled. Our infrastructure needs weren’t being met. The city budget was coming up short.”

Today, Battle says the City of Huntsville is in a very different place.

Among the accomplishments he cited:

  • 16,000 new jobs created over the last five years
  • 5.2% unemployment rate
  • a growing city budget
  • $25M in reserves
  • AAA credit rating

The mayor also highlighted the need to turn challenges into opportunities, by embracing change. As an example, he pointed to the MidCity development at Madison Square Mall; the City Centre project downtown; the Cummings Research Park master plan and the numerous road projects throughout Huntsville.

Battle said, “being successful is no longer about being bigger and better than anybody else.  It’s about change, recognizing the game-changers, embracing the change and using it to our advantage.”