Eastern Shore chamber holds Elected Officials Luncheon


FAIRHOPE – Cooperation between cities and citizens was a key to many of the accomplishments of the last year, participants in the Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce annual Elected Officials Luncheon said Tuesday, Nov. 30.
More than 100 people took part in the event at the James Nix Center in Fairhope, chamber officials said.
“It went very well,” Casey Williams, chamber president, said. “We had a great turnout, and it was a very relaxed atmosphere for everyone to talk about what’s going on in their areas.”
Fairhope Mayor Sherry Sullivan said most local officials discussed how the communities have worked together to deal with issues such as growth.
“Pretty much what everyone talked about was growth,” Sullivan said. “When you look at the overall infrastructure, roads, bridges, whatever it might be. Everyone tries to do what's best for the county and for each municipality.”

Daphne Mayor Robin LeJeune said he was pleased by the cooperation with Sullivan and Spanish Fort Mayor Mike McMillan during the first year of his term in office.
“We’ve got such a great relationship with Sherry and Mike and just being able to call them and talk to them and Sherry being in her first year to just kind of bounce things off her. Knowing that I’ve got their support has been really great this first year,” LeJeune said.
LeJeune said the year has brought many improvements for Daphne.
“We opened up a new fire station,” LeJeune said. “We’ve opened up the all-inclusive playground. We have our new tennis building opened.”
LeJeune also praised the cooperation between his office and the City Council.
“The support we’ve gotten from the council has just been tremendous,” LeJeune said. “You just can’t do these things without the council and the mayor working together and it’s just been tremendous to have that group’s support. We don’t agree on everything, but we’ve been able to understand each other’s points and move on, so it’s been great.”
He said Daphne officials also have plans for the upcoming year.
“The council has shown their support for our animal shelter project,” he said. “They put $1 million aside for that. So, that is coming. We’re working on the plans for that right now along with the bayfront and its amphitheater. That is huge. The council put $1 million aside for that and then the expansion of our Police Department, Justice Center and courthouse to expand there.”
McMillan said Spanish Fort has also made many accomplishments in the last year. He said the city’s budget finished the year with more income and less spending than predicted.
“We ended up the year 5% above on revenue and 12% below on expenses, which are always good numbers,” he said.
McMillan said one project that many residents have been anticipating for many years, the widening of U.S. 31 in Spanish Fort, should be completed this month. He said the city is also moving forward with plans to start work on a city waterfront park on the Causeway and to buy property on Alabama 225.
Spanish Fort was awarded $8.5 million through the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act to buy 142 acres on Bay Minette Creek.
McMillan said that in the upcoming year, Spanish Fort officials will hold public meetings to discuss the best uses for the property.

Eastern Shore Chamber, elected officials luncheon