1. What is your background?
I’m a retired businessman, having worked for a large corporation and a family-owned business. I have been active in the Republican Party as chairman of the Jefferson County Republican Party as well as serving on the State Committee. My wife, Diane, and I live in Vestavia Hills and attend All Saints Episcopal Church.
2. What is the biggest issue facing the state in the upcoming year?
I believe the biggest problem facing the state is responsible budgeting and eliminating corruption in the state House. When the Republicans took the majority in 2010, we expected them to be different than the Democrats and stop promoting special interests and lining their own pockets. We have seen little difference. That is why I support term limits for elected officials.
3. What is the biggest issue facing Vestavia Hills?
The biggest issue facing Vestavia Hills is the under-utilization of the Highway 31 corridor. There are too many vacant storefronts and unoccupied commercial space. I recommend a “buy and shop Vestavia” theme to encourage citizens to shop locally. We need to create tax incentives to bring more jobs and commercial development to Vestavia. With more jobs and successful businesses, our tax base will expand and provide needed revenue for education, transportation, and capital improvements.
1. What is your background?
Currently I have the opportunity to serve as chairman of the Commerce and Small Business Committee in the Alabama House of Representatives and as vice-chair of the Financial Services Committee. I have served in the House for 10 years. I am a partner in a new company Fairhope Capitol, LLC, and my prior business experience included managing acquisitions for a real estate portfolio. From 1995-2003 I served as Jefferson County tax collector. During that time I oversaw the collection and distribution of over $400 million in property taxes for Jefferson County.
2. What is the biggest issue facing the state in the upcoming year and how would you address it?
The Alabama legislature will have to continue successfully reforming state government and maintaining a strong climate for economic development and job creation. It will be important to continue attracting new industry into the state and particularly into the Jefferson County area. To do that we will have to continue fighting for lean government (the current Republican legislature cut the state’s General Fund by $700 million dollars during the past four years).
3. What is the biggest issue facing Vestavia Hills in the upcoming year and how would you address it?
The biggest problem facing Vestavia is continued growth opportunity for small businesses. At the state level we have passed legislation that requires new regulations to be examined to make certain they do not negatively impact the businesses they are regulating. I sponsored bills reforming our state unemployment compensation fund that led to an annual savings of over $20 million. We have to continue those fights and those reforms.