It’s rather hard to believe, but Montgomery has now been my home for more than 40 years. The time has flown by and a lot has happened involving the Beasley family. While I have seen many changes since moving to Montgomery in 1971, I believe the most exciting has been the recent renaissance of this great city. Without any doubt, in recent years Montgomery has made tremendous progress. It’s truly been an exciting time for the Capital City.
The year 2012 continued the pattern of economic growth and development. In terms of job creation, the City ranked number three in the State. Montgomery created 2,234 jobs in new and expanding businesses, with Hyundai Motor Manufacturing of Alabama (HMMA) leading the way with 900 new jobs. The total investment in Montgomery in 2012 exceeded $181 million. Montgomery is also the home of Maxwell/Gunter Air Force Base, which, along with HMMA is one of the largest employers in the state. These are strong and impressive numbers by any standard.
Economic investment also has included investment in our infrastructure, including the renovation of Cramton Bowl. A badly needed sports complex was built next to the existing football field, which was also updated. No doubt as a result of that investment, Mayor Todd Strange was able to announce recently that Montgomery will host the 2014 Camelia Bowl, an all-new football matchup between the Mid Atlantic Conference and the Sunbelt Conference. The game will be nationally televised by ESPN.
There is growth everywhere you look. Montgomery continues to focus on the revitalization of downtown, building on the progress made during the past several years. Increasing development in the mid-City also has been a priority. Progress is visible on the so-called “outer loop” project, a regeneration of the I-65 Corridor. A brand new public high school opened this fall in East Montgomery. A recently released U.S. News & World Report poll revealed that the number one magnet school in the nation, LAMP, is located right here in Montgomery. Our retail sales are growing by roughly 3 percent, and average housing prices have increased by about 13 percent. Montgomery’s per capita personal income is 10 percent above the state average, and is the third highest in the state. These are all good indicators for the future.
It’s true we have been operating both nationally and in Alabama during the past several years with limited revenues. The severe lack of funds needed for legitimate government resources has become a reality. Many are asking for a redefinition of the appropriate role of the government in our economic system. The outcome of this debate could have a significant impact on the future economic landscape in Alabama, including that of the Capital City. We should recognize that government spending in the past 40 years was a major contributor to the prosperity of the middle class in this country. I have never believed that government at any level should refuse to adequately fund essential programs. But I also recognize that it’s very easy to sell a political program of “no new taxes” to the public. But that’s another story for another day.
I remain very optimistic about Montgomery’s future. We have an outstanding mayor and a progressive city council, and that combination is extremely important. Mayor Strange frequently says, “If you haven’t been to Montgomery in the last five years, then you really haven’t been to Montgomery.” I must say that the new Montgomery is quite impressive. The Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce has done a tremendous job of selling our city and the entire River Region. Montgomery County government, under the leadership of County Commission Chairman Elton Dean, has been a partner with the City in a number of programs. It has been a mutually beneficial partnership for the city and county.
If any of our readers who live anywhere in Alabama outside the River Region, or live in other states, and are coming to or through Alabama for any reason, I hope they will stop off in Montgomery to experience some of the great Southern hospitality our area is known for. I can assure all that it will be a most enjoyable experience.
Contact us today for a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney.
Fields marked *may be required for submission.
If you would like to subscribe to the Jere Beasley Report digital edition, simply visit our Subscriptions page and provide the necessary information or call us at 800-898-2034.
Attorney Advertising - Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.