Sunday, October 2, 2016

Final Fairhope Council Seat Up For Grabs Tuesday

Fairhope, Alabama


Last Thursday, the Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce sponsored a debate/forum between the remaining candidates for place three city council: incumbent Diana Brewer and Jimmy Conyers.

The two repeated much of previous positions (click) expressed before the August 23rd general election and seemed to be substantially in agreement ... except for two items: The Fly Creek PUD apartment amendment and how to assist the five Fairhope-area Baldwin County schools.

*Fly Creek apartments:

Conyers said it was a complex issue and there were gray areas involved, but he would have voted against the apartment amendment because of the overwhelming opposition from the public. Brewer did not directly address the issue at this event but had said before she researched the issue thoroughly and concluded there was a need for more housing alternatives (for a healthy "diverse population" -- ie. younger families) and the project added green space and was more environmentally-friendly for the creek (less storm water runoff).

*School support:

Both do not support an independent school system and Brewer favors continuing supplementing via the city's EAC committee with contributions of $350K or more yearly; Conyers said he favors continuing supplementing the schools, but with donations to the private Fairhope Educational Enrichment Foundation (FEEF) instead.


*Both supported a six-month moratorium on new subdivisions/multi family projects to allow a review of city regulations and ordinances regarding growth, staffing, and related growth issues; but Conyers thought an additional three months or more may be necessary to tweak/alter the city's comprehensive plan itself.

*Both supported hiring more personnel for the planning department, a city staff engineer to review projects, and probably a city administrator/manager since the mayor-elect has said she is not interested in running the utilities. Conyers thought the engineer/administrator jobs may be combined, handled by the same person.

*Both suggested better use could be made of the parking garage to relieve downtown parking issues.

*Conyers said having a new mayor would bring a "new direction and opportunities" and hoped to work with her (Karin Wilson) on common ground first: the "low hanging fruit." Brewer has known Wilson for many years: they had worked together  on a performing arts center -- and she thought her own experiences during her first term may help with the new mayor's "steep learning curve."

Additional questions and answers here:

The sole polling place, the Civic Center, will be open Tuesday from 7AM to 7PM.

Turnout is usually much lower for runoff elections.


Anonymous said...
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Will Bruce said...

Diana thoroughly researches issues that come before the council. She is an independent representative for the citizens of Fairhope and is not a part of anyone's "slate."

James said...
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Anonymous said...

2% of citizens of Fairhope wanted a "NO" vote on the apartment project, I guess the other 98% were counting on Diana to make a reasonable decision. I'm not a math major, but 2% of anything is nowhere near "overwhelming". I guess the Council is suppose to disregard the other 98% just because there is a "loaded wagon" for the media to see and report on!

Anonymous said...

The 2% estimate of folks wanting a no vote is a laughable underestimate. A huge number of Fairhope citizens attended council meetings and the p and z meetings to voice serious concerns over apartment developments. The citizens expected our elected officials to hear and recognize those concerns. Brewer ignored literally a 1000 Fairhope citizens that actually took the time and trouble to attend these meetings.

The number of Fairhope citizens overall wanting a no vote is far in excess of 2%, more like 75% would be a more realistic estimate based on how many concerned citizens actually attended the meetings. In the last p an z meeting, literally hundreds of Fairhope citizens attended to request a no vote, there was not one single person attending in this critical meeting in support of the apartments besides the devloper and property owner. The question was asked is there anyone here in this huge crowd who supports this development? and not even one person came forward or even raised their hand.

Anonymous said...

No way 75% does not want it. Usually 1 or 2 complain and threaten everyone else. The 25 that was rude and unruly during the p&z meetings got mad and took their ball home. If they really cared about Fairhope they would have listened to all the issues. If someone complains about their property they would want throw punches to protect it.
Mayor Karen unfortunately was very rude tonight to the board who has a very tough job. Boy she will realize that all the redric some of her backers have been hollering will not work in the real life operations of the city and county. She won fair and square, just hope she works together with the good people of the city and county. Yes there are a few that get away with other people doing the work and takes credit for it, they are very noticeable and should be gone. Wish you the very best.

Anonymous said...

I attended those meetings. Basically the same 200 to 300 folks at each meeting, but I guess it's ok to lie, as long as you lace in a few facts and figures. You know the old saying "if you throw enough crap against the wall, some of it may stick"!

Anonymous said...

Brewer's comment about Mayor-elect Wilson's "steep learning curve" is offensive to Fairhope voters. She'll say anything to hold on to her seat.

Anonymous said...

is he related to the tennis player?

Anonymous said...

"Steep learning curve" comment was being nice! That lady is going to need a ladder!!!