April 3, 2017
Mayor Stimpson: He’s done his best.
If there was ever a candidate who proved that his influence, popularity, and wealth had limits in his hometown of Mobile, AL, it’s Mayor Stimpson. In his first year in office, he was unable to get approval from the Mobile City Council or specifically (Councilman Fred Richardson) for his replacement fire chief, Captain Randy Smith. After losing round one to Fred Richardson (and his gang), Sandy simply quit and never bothered to nominate anyone else. That speaks of a rich guy with weak character. Members of Mobile Fire and Rescue weren’t happy. Nor were they happy with Sandy’s decision to create a new position of public safety director who came with his own color-blind agenda.
As I’ve written before Sandy isn’t a risk-taker. Mobile is decades behind to cities like Charleston, SC Savannah, GA and St. Augustine, FL in terms of tourism. His 40 year career at Gulf Lumber Company later Scotch-Gulf Lumber Company limited his creativity, personal growth and tolerance for risk as mayor of Mobile. Trying to run city hall like a conservative business showed its limitations when he couldn’t stop the out of control crime and murder rates, last year.
In my one and only meeting with Sandy before his campaign announcement, I suggested that he invest in public art with some of the BP money, it didn’t happen. I encouraged him to put Barton Academy (property of the Mobile County Public School System) into use as a design college anything other than an elementary school which puts limits on the building in downtown. According to him, I was the second person to mention this idea, but its’ gone nowhere. I’ve encouraged the mayor to move the Mobile Regional Airport back to Brookley Field based on recent annual FAA data for U.S. rankings and air passenger traffic at Gulfport, Mobile and Pensacola. If it’s in the works, I don’t know about it, yet (Mobile Airport Authority owns the two airports – BFM, MOB).
After one year in business, the mayor closed down GulfQuest, a museum, with little notice. During its closure from November 2016 to February 2017 nothing changed physically that would lead the taxpayer to believe that Year 2 will be better in terms of visitors and revenue. Tourism in Mobile is so dismal that every museum is fighting for the same tourist dollar. One other suggestion that I made was for the city or city/county to buy Brookley Field’s $25 mm waterfront tract of land (currently owned by the University of South Alabama Foundation) and hire a world-class landscape architect to develop the property for use as a public park and pier similar to Fairhope’s.
The city and/or county could add a soccer complex on the backside of the property running along the airport’s fence line while charging an admission fee at the gate to recoup this investment. I recently saw where the mayor spent money on a city park, which I think of as putting new tires on an old Chevy. There’s only so much you can do to these old parks to put life back into them, attendance and use will only increase so much.
On the matter of resigning from the Comic Cowboys organization, it was too little, too late. As a man who calls himself a Christian, it’s choices like these that determine one’s character beforehand, not after. I can’t imagine anyone black or African American supporting Sandy’s re-election this time around. Yes, former Mayor Sam Jones may have committed his share of sins while in office, but now we know that Sandy has too!
Sandy’s original campaign theme “One Mobile” now sounds like a route out of town.
Copyright © 2017. All Rights Reserved. “Mayor Stimpson: He’s done his best.” by Ted Burnett
My other essays and videos can be viewed at my website – http://www.tedburnett.com. I can be contacted via email at – firstname.lastname@example.org.