Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Fairhope Candidate Forum City Council Place One

Fairhope, Alabama

standing room only at Homestead ballroom

Cody Phillips moderated


A forum was held at the Homestead Village recently where candidates for each of the five council seats and mayor were asked questions by the moderator, Eastern Shore Common Sense Chapter Chairman Cody Philips (aka the Baldwin Tea Party).

Jack Burrell. incumbent
City council place one: Incumbent Jack Burrell v. challenger Meredith Smith

Burrell told the overflow crowd he stood on his record of "kept promises" from the 2012 campaign. He cited significant city debt reduction, televising council and planning meetings, and airport expansion plans as examples.  Citing the Fly Creek apartment controversy, he claimed that he "is the only one up here who voted against explosive growth."

Challenger Smith described herself as a "newcomer" to town and a "scrappy," problem solver who is "here to serve." She called the city just an "oversized family" that she and her own young family's future (two children, age 2,3) had a "keen investment in." She said she wanted to better represent working women's families on the council (there is currently only one) and that her "end game" was problem resolution and "pushing forward together." Smith added she comes with a "fresh slate": "I owe no one in this town any favors."

Meredith Smith, challenger
When asked by the moderator about the number one problems facing the city, both alluded to rapid growth and related issues:

Burrell: "Maintaining quality of life ... ambiance ... and the character of the city." He also mentioned stormwater management, good recreation and senior activity services, and maintaining a "vibrant waterfront" and pier as essential.

Smith emphasized preservation, maintaining "small town appeal" -- and better communication by "connecting" to all neighborhoods to "make sure we are all heard": she thought it was important for city leaders to go out into neighborhoods, door to door, to "find out what the needs are ... figure out what we want as a group."

Burrell lives in the Montrose neighborhood and Smith on the south side.

Both candidates referenced their websites for further details:

Burrell  -
Smith    -

Publishers Note: This is the first in a series of reports on this almost three hour meeting.


Anonymous said...

That place was overcrowded. Does this townhave a fire marshall?

Anonymous said...

Didn't take ;long for Burrel to drink the cool aid.

Anonymous said...

Jack is a good man ought to b reelected.

Anonymous said...

he may be ok if he wasnt such a knuklehead .

Anonymous said...

The inept leader of the hapless do nothings.

Anonymous said...

Lyin' Jack says he wants to control growth but is pushing the secret giant airport expansion on us on all the time. We are subsidizing it to the tune of over $400K a year already.

Anonymous said...

Jack's is Wilson's campaign manager isn't he?

Shirley said...

He had Kant to deal with you know. Impossible!

Jim Lahey said...

I think controlling growth is not about nixing the airport expansion. I'm more concerned with the sprawl of subdivisions getting plowed in weekly. The airport expansion equals jobs and more commercial / industrial opportunities for the city. There's more to Fairhope than just grumpy transplants & flowers.