In my professional life, I have been guided by four leadership pillars: 1) Vision, 2) Organization, 3) Respect, and 4) Boldness.

As you know, the City Council recently passed the Elevate Tuscaloosa Plan. This bold vision provides the resources for our community to take on the challenges appearing over the horizon. History teaches us that having a vision is one thing, but implementing it is another, and Elevate Tuscaloosa is no different. In the months and years ahead, we will look to partner with community leaders as we seek to answer the significant questions that we have.

It is difficult to make hard decisions during good times. 

The Tuscaloosa City Council voted down Mayor Walt Maddox’s proposed 1-cent sales tax increase at a city council meeting on March 5. 

The plan, Elevate Tuscaloosa, was originally proposed as a $250 million plan that would fund recreation, education, and transportation in the city over the next decade. Despite a number of meetings, where members of the council and community gave counter-proposals to Maddox’s plan, the city council voted to kill the proposal with a vote of 4-3. 

On March 5, the Council defeated the Elevate Tuscaloosa plan which would have eliminated the city’s share of grocery tax and addressed three looming challenges on the horizon. The decline of the retail economy, The University of Alabama reaching its peak in student enrollment, and the severe workforce shortages in Tuscaloosa are serious obstacles we will face in the coming years. I am disappointed, but hopefully this is a beginning, not an end. Now it is the Council’s turn to lead, and I look forward to working with them. 

Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox has proposed a 1-cent increase in sales tax for a plan he calls “Elevate Tuscaloosa.” 

If approved, Maddox’s proposal would bring the city’s sales tax up to 10 percent. Maddox said the 1-cent sales tax increase, which will occur over the next three decades, could generate as much a $250 million in funding for education, recreation, and transportation. 

I hope that you have had a moment in recent weeks to review my plan to Elevate Tuscaloosa. I believe this is the most important proposal I have made in my 13 years serving as your mayor. We are in rapidly changing times as local and national forces are reshaping our economic landscape in Tuscaloosa. History demonstrates that it is in the good times that we must aspire to be great.  

Mayor Walt Maddox has appointed the City’s current internal auditor, Carly Standridge to replace Mark Fields as city clerk, effective March 1.

Tuscaloosa has grown over recent years, and the city is giving residents the opportunity to help decide what Tuscaloosa’s future will be. 

My recent campaign for governor allowed me the amazing opportunity to experience the deep faith and boundless optimism of the people of Alabama. Words cannot express my sincere appreciation to all of you who made this journey possible. I am honored to be an Alabamian and blessed to have met so many of you over the past 18 months. Although we did not win the race, it is important that we continue to keep faith – it is important that we continue to believe in the promise of a better Alabama.

The city of Tuscaloosa’s current City Clerk, Mark Fields, has been named the new chief human resources officer. Mayor Maddox named Field to the position, effective on Feb. 1.

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Druid City Living (DCL) is Tuscaloosa, Alabama's premier community newspaper, covering the great people, places and activities of the area.

 

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