The State of the Region has become an important venue for members of the seven counties represented by the Birmingham Regional Chamber of Commerce and the full room at the Harbert Center confirms its growing importance in knowing the path of metro Birmingham’s future. It provides residents of the region with an opportunity to hear the plans of elected officials in the coming year.
The following is a list of speakers at this year’s event. As the meeting moves on, notes from their reports will appear under their name.
Hon. Bernard Kincaid, City of Birmingham
Two main concerns:
Transit, along with HOV lanes, park and ride lots
Points out UAB’s place as the largest employer of the region – as it becomes a national treasure
Expansion of the BJCC complex
Quality of Life
Promoting greenspace (Park-nership) – focused on the three park partnership.
Hon. Al Green, Bibb County
County cousins to the South
Focused on the preservation of the Cahaba River Society – spoke about the window decal
played off of the C – Cooperation, community
Focused on the natural features in the county and their use as the basis of their eco-tourism.
Hon. David Standbridge, Blount County
Incoming chairman of the County Commission
North of Jefferson – Frontier of opportunity
4th fastest growing county in the region
What effects Jeffco effects the region
West Blount County now “open for business”
Five lane project (Highway 160); four lane project (Highway 79) and developing infrastructure.
“Covered bridge capital”
Hon. Alan Akin, Chilton County
Decided to tell his “butter knife story”
(I’ll explain later)
Long and short – use what you have to accomplish great things
Hon. Jim Carns, Jefferson County
Population approx 660,000
Main focus is economic development among commissioners
Also focused on UAB as tremendous asset
Jefferson County will and wants to work with you
Hon. Stan Batemon, St. Clair County
In public office since 1986
Wants to improve image of government
Include education in the plans of the government – pull them to the table when expanding the region (need to be members of the economic dvelopment of the region)
Hon. Dan Acker, Shelby County
Fastest growing county in the state of Alabama
Estimated to reach more than 210,000 in population by 2015
Transportation is considered the major issue; should be dealt with as a regional issue before it becomes a crisis
Must be treated as a partner but cares about the entire region.
Hon. Bruce Hambrick, Walker County
Region has to be successful for the counties to be important
Region is a chain with many links. We must support the weak link in order for all of the region to be strong.
Don’t stall out on small things that “don’t mean nothing”
It would be safe to say that all of the elected officials that participated in this event understand the importance of regional cooperation. As the year continues on, the hope is that the words spoken today will be carried out and that cooperation will continue to move the region forward.
Not the best set of notes ever, but what are your thoughts?
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