Ever wonder what your mayor been up to each month? Sure you may have helped elect them, but what happens after that? Alabama Today has you covered. Each month we’ll highlight what the Yellowhammer State’s Big 5 mayors have been doing in an effort to hold them accountable and keep things more transparent.
On top of campaigning for governor, Tuscaloosa, Ala. Mayor Walt Maddox has been busy keeping his constituents in Tuscaloosa up to date with what he’s been doing for the city.
Here’s what he’s been up to for the last month:
Maddox sat down with stern, a German magazine reporter Jens König to discuss possible tariffs on European carmakers, which would include Mercedes in Tuscaloosa. Mercedes currently employs approximately 3,700 people, and produces almost 300,000 cars a year.
Maddox orders all city flags to fly at half mast to honor former City Councilor Ed Montgomery after his passing on July 13.
Montgomery was “a councilor on the City of Tuscaloosa’s first term after converting to a mayor/council form of government in October of 1985, he represented District 4 until 1989,” the City of Tuscaloosa posted on Facebook. “He shaped the city for the better,” Maddox said in the post. “My wife, Stephanie, joins me in sending prayers to his family and friends.”
Maddox announced the 2019 budget to the Tuscaloosa City Council. According to the City of Tuscaloosa:
Specific comments and recommendations include:
-The $155,105,724 general fund budget and the $54,074,701 water and sewer fund budget totals combined operating budgets of $209,180,425.
-Employee cost of living adjustment of 2 percent and one step increase are included. There was no rise in employee health insurance costs, which remain at a 137 percent increase since 2006. Inflation has risen 33 percent. Health insurance outpaced inflation by 104 percent.
-The 2019 budget includes a $1 adjustment on residential and non-residential garbage, trash and recycling rates and a 1 percent increase in water and sewer rates, the lowest water rate increase in recent City history. The City currently subsidizes $1.8 million a year for environmental services, saving each customer $78 a year.
“We continue to do more with less and are driving Tuscaloosa’s economy into a 21st century model,” Maddox said in the city’s post. “While our estimated loss to online sales is still $5.3 million annually, our evolution to an experienced-based economy is starting to take shape, as evident in our 40 percent increase in lodging tax revenue since 2014 and 6 percent business license revenue growth in that same period.”