HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – The mayors of the ten largest cities in Alabama gathered in Huntsville to talk about how they want to better their communities and what they hope lawmakers in Montgomery will work on as this year’s legislative session begins.
The Big Ten Mayors Conference brought together leaders from all across the state to learn and grow.
“Having the opportunity to sit down and ask how they’re handling things, where they’re making the difference for their citizens, for their employees, has been invaluable,” said Madison Mayor Paul Finley.
Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle said the goal behind these meetings is to discuss upcoming legislation, along with bringing ideas to the table to better cities across our state.
“The whole key of it is that we each get better with each meeting that we have, we improve on our government, we improve on how we deliver services to our citizens,” said Mayor Battle.
The Big 10 spent the weekend in the Rocket City discussing several topics including redistricting, catching up on a backlog of criminal cases due to the pandemic, the passing of Aniah’s Law and making sure they can maintain public safety and infrastructure in their cities.
“He took Aniah Blanchard from us one night, kidnapped her, and murdered her,” said Auburn Mayor Ron Anders. “It should have never happened. That precipitated the passing of a law in the Alabama Legislature in 2020: Aniah’s Law, which gives the courts the discretion to withhold pretrial bail for those likely to offend. This fall, our state will have the chance to confirm that law.”
“When it comes to constitutional carry, we’re hopeful that the Alabama Legislature will be very thoughtful on this issue,” said Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox. “As mayors, public safety is our number one priority and this issue ultimately will have direct or indirect consequences.”
“He is seeking additional funding for the court system,” said Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson. “They are trying to come up with ways so that retired judges can possibly hold trials, again with the focus being on trying to catch up with the criminal trials.”
“We’ll continue to have this conversation among us about how we close the gap on our hiring issues related to all of our cities because public safety, by far, is the number one issue for all of us,” said Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin.
“Each one of the times we talk about these different issues, because there’s a myriad of issues that affect a mayor and affect a city, we come away with a city that’s a little bit better,” said Mayor Tommy Battle.
All the mayors say they need action from the state legislature to support their goals. The 2022 Alabama Legislative Session begins Wednesday. The Alabama Legislature launched a new website on January 3 to make bill tracking easier.
The Big 10 Mayors include Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin, Montgomery Mayor Stephen Reed, Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson, Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox, Hoover Mayor Frank Brocato, Dothan Mayor Mark Saliba, Auburn Mayor Ron Anders, Decatur Mayor Tab Bowling, and Madison Mayor Paul Finley.
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