Alabama Mayors, Including Tuscaloosa’s Walt Maddox, Lay Out Agenda for State Lawmakers

Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox was on hand as the mayors of Alabama’s five largest cities met in Montgomery on Apr. 20, where they urged state lawmakers to support issues critical to residents. Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox was on hand as the mayors of Alabama’s five largest cities met in Montgomery on Apr. 20, where they urged state lawmakers to support issues critical to residents. @CityofMontgomery on Instagram

Mayors from Alabama’s five largest cities met in Montgomery on April 20, where they urged state lawmakers to support issues critical to residents of Birmingham, Huntsville, Mobile, Montgomery and Tuscaloosa, a constituency comprising nearly one third of the state's population.

In meetings last week with Gov. Kay Ivey, key cabinet members and state legislative leadership, Birmingham Mayor William Bell, Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson, Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange and Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox addressed several priorities with lawmakers.

“As mayors of Alabama’s largest cities, we understand that the future of our state depends largely on our ability to produce results,” Maddox said. “Our quarterly meetings provide a unique opportunity to share best practices and create alignment on a myriad of issues impacting the people we work for.”

Maintaining and improving Alabama’s infrastructure tops their list of collective concerns since it is essential to economic development. While cities allocate larger portions of their budgets to local infrastructure, state and federally controlled highways, byways and interchanges must keep up with the demands of commerce.

In keeping with the jobs and economic development theme, the mayors urged legislators to pass a bill renewing the historic tax credit, a proven component to cities’ growth and development. They also encouraged increasing the cap available for economic development in the Alabama Jobs Act.

Private sector innovation has been a driving force of change for local codes of ordinances as companies like Uber and Lyft disrupt traditional service models. The mayors committed to working together with state leadership and ridesharing companies to find compromises allowing for expansion in Alabama, while ensuring municipalities can institute the measures needed to enforce safety protocol. The current legislation takes away cities’ abilities to provide public safety oversight in regards to vehicles for hire.

After this week’s session, “Alabama’s Big Five” plan to continue working together to fight for issues important to residents in Birmingham, Huntsville, Mobile, Montgomery and Tuscaloosa who account for more than one third of the state’s population.

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