In the Face of 44% Growth, Please Support Collaborative Strategic Planning

Our Founding Fathers established Fairhope with Vision and Planning.  They planned the “downtown” with wide streets surrounded by residential lots forming the heart of, and foundation for, what our City has become.  It has been said that great parks developed by Olmsted (Central Park) and later the lake front parks by Daniel Burnham inspired Fairhope’s open spaces and public parks providing water access to all residents.  Without this foresight, Fairhope could have been...

2019 Arbor Day

This year’s Arbor Day was another success.  Getting up Saturday morning, walking across the street to the Coastal Community College where the event took place and it was absolutely the most beautiful day of the year so far.  It felt like I was in a scene from Truman Show! Our Public Works Director, Richard Johnson, welcomed everyone and declared that Arbor Day would be his official first day to wear...

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...

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...