Two-Year Anniversary Update on Campaign Promises

When someone decides to run for office, it’s important to have clear goals for which to measure success. On this two-year anniversary in office, I’d like to share my administration’s progress on the promises I made when I took office. We all live in Fairhope for a reason.  But we were at a critical tipping point in 2016 with haphazard planning, and that encouraged me to run for office and...

Overview of 2019 Budget

When I took office in November of 2016, I spent the next several months separating the co-mingling of Utility funds with General City funds in addition to creating departments with their own revenue and expenses. We now have a budget with much more accuracy, transparency and communication.  The hard work has paid off too, as you can see in a previous blog post. The financial health of the City has never...

2019 Proposed Budget to Council Before Schedule

The Mayor’s fiscal 2019 draft budget was delivered to City Council members on August 10th (10 days before the date required by state statute). Each year my office aims to improve and streamline the budget process and this year is an especially exciting year for the City and its Utility Department. We will be going over some of the exciting developments in six council work sessions (three of which will...

Financial Snapshot July 2018

Dear Fairhope Citizen, As we begin our 2019 budget process, I’m happy to report on some impressive progress we’ve made since fiscal 2016 year end.  We will be discussing this in more detail during our 2019 budget. Increased Cash Account Balances by almost 50% Decreased City Debt by 46%:  From $6.83MM to $3.68 (Debt should be paid in full by 2020) Reduced Utility Debt by 21%: From 19.3MM to $15.3MM...

Council-Manager Form of Government

Do I support this new form of government for the City of Fairhope?  Absolutely Should citizens be concerned about the timing of this effort? No. The discussion about the Council-Manager form of government has been talked about for many years and I have been researching it with a few citizens since the beginning of the year.  After the new amendment passed this past April, a group of citizens have come together...

State of the City 2018

I’m delighted to report that the State of the City is STRONG! We wanted to liven up this year’s format and break down the facts in the level of detail you’d like to receive it. 1. A ~5 minute Video above of broad highlights from the last year 2. Department tabs online which will give you even more detail. 3. Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) 2. A“by the numbers” info-graphic...

Can We Love Our Neighbor as Our Pet?

Preparedness, planning, collaboration and “learning to accommodate water.”  We could learn a great deal from Amsterdam! The clip below is from last week’s episode of CBS Sunday Morning.  It’s a fascinating story about a municipality that took a serious problem and turned it into a unique opportunity. But it was the clip right before this one that made me think about this year’s Memorial Day as we remember all military...

The Fairhope Duck Pond: A Love Story

Fairhope Duck Pond You may recognize these “Lovebirds” while visiting our Duck Pond North of the municipal pier.  They were known by many names depending on who you talked to. But it was Carole Schneider who befriended the male goose over 10 years ago who formally named him “Garfield” and has been visiting nearly every day since – pictured here on her lap. Garfield soon found his soulmate, later named...

Tatumville Gulley: Preserve and Protect this Vital Natural Resource

Dear Fairhope Citizens, I have sent the following letter to the Fairhope Single Tax Corp (FSTC) and I’ve been added to their agenda to speak on April 11th, 6:30pm.  Over 2,300 concerned citizens were instrumental in their reconsideration of the proposed subdivision with this petition. However, this will not prevent this from future considerations to develop or sale the property as suggested by FSTC president, Lee Turner. The City would...

Vision & Planning: $650,000 Fairhope Area Community-based Comprehensive Land Use Plan

The City of Fairhope will begin the Fairhope Area Community-based Comprehensive Land Use Plan, a 2-year project, with $650,000 RESTORE Act funding by the end of this year. It will serve as a guide for all future planning, ensure responsible growth and protect our environment into the future. We will forecast population growth, project demand on utilities and transportation coupled with urban design that includes form-based codes  in key areas...