August 7, 2011
From the Mayor's Office
It's hard to believe that another month has passed by so quickly. As I look back on our calendar for the Month of July, the Council and I were booked every week with meetings. Getting a new city set up is definitely time consuming! But as each week passes, I can see how well things are coming together and how far we've come.
This weekend, it's a TAX FREE weekend in Semmes on all qualified school item purchases. I am very happy that the Council unanimously voted in favor of our new City participating in this event. Getting kids back to school can be quite expensive and parents could surely use a break every once in a while - I know this from experience! Hopefully this will be something that our City can offer to its citizens in the future.
Semmes kicked off July with a wonderful 4th of July "Celebrate Freedom Semmes" fireworks event at Mary G Montgomery on Sunday, July 3rd. This event is sponsored by Orchard Assembly - and it's become "the" event of the summer in Semmes! The name of the event was so appropriate this year - I really felt like we were celebrating our freedom because just a few months ago, on May 2, 2011, we formally became a city. On that date, we became FREE to choose the direction of our future. We finally had our voice! Take a look at the video below - this is community at its best! Thank you so much Orchard Assembly for sponsoring this event in our community.
Our COMMITTEES began meeting in July. I appointed these committees to focus their efforts on specific areas of interest. The Committees and their Chairs are:
Our Committees are "chaired" by a Council Member, have 1 other Council Member, and have 2 to 3 Community Members. My goal is to have the COMMUNITY involved on all topics. For specific Committee information, visit our page on our website. The best way for a public servant (Mayor or Council Member) to understand what their job responsibilities are, is to listen to the people they are representing. All of the Committee meetings are OPEN TO THE PUBLIC! I invite you to attend and get involved. If you have a concern or a problem, determine which Committee covers that area and plan on attending the Committee meeting. Also, please feel free to contact your Council Members at any time. Each Council Member has a city email address so you can easily and quickly send any (or all) of them an email. Or, send me an email and I will forward it to the responsible Committee Chair. For our email addresses, visit the page of our website.
PLANNING COMMISSION -- As Mayor, I appoint 6 of the total 9 Planning Commission Members - these are selected individuals of our community who have shown an interest in the future development of our city and the surrounding area. The remaining 3 members of the Planning Commission are: myself (Mayor), one city employee (City Clerk), and one of the Council Members (elected by the Council). Planning Commission Members are non-paid stewards who guide the future development of our community - and when I say development, I am particularly describing the physical development, subdivision of property, and comprehensive plan. Look for the upcoming establishment of our Planning Commission (by Ordinance). In July, Diane Burnett of South Alabama Regional Planning Commission (SARPC), presented information to the City Council and general public, about how to write Subdivision Regulations, information on Zoning and Planning and she also answered questions. These meeting were very informative and we look forward to working with SARPC in the future.
On Wednesday, July 27, RDS (Revenue Discovery Systems) conducted a training seminar for our businesses. RDS will be the collector of our sales tax from the local businesses. During the training, RDS representatives helped businesses determine if they were inside the city limits or police jurisdiction (to determine the sales tax rate) and also guided them through the process of filing their sales tax online. If a business chooses, they can still file their "paper" sales tax forms through the mail. Our first month of collecting sales tax will be an adjustment period, which is to be expected. So, if you (as a business owner or as a concern citizen) have any questions, please feel free to call the City Hall at 251/649-8811.
I am very happy to share with everyone that Semmes will be getting a SENIOR CENTER! This is the direct result of the work of our County Commission, Mrs. Connie Hudson. This is something that I am very excited about because a new Senior Center in our area will be able to serve so many people - not just those in Semmes, but also the Fairview & Wilmer Communities to the west and the Georgetown Community to the north. The Semmes Woman's Club will be managing the day-to-day activities at the center and will be key to the overall success. Please check out Semmes Senior Center for the press release from the Mobile County Commission and for more information.
We're growing by leaps and bounds! The new Trax Tires is not far from opening their doors for business. And, just this week, the ground work (literally!) has begun on the new Foosacklys (next to Sonic). And to our hometown business owners will be opening their newest restaurant - Saucy Q's B-B-Q (YUM!). Cockrell's Body Shop announced their newest location in Semmes recently when they put up their sign on Moffett Road (across the street from Oak Hill Drive). This past Monday, the Exxon at the corner of Wulff Road/McCrary & Moffett Road closed to clear out for the new Walgreen's that will be going in! And, I'm hearing whispers of other new businesses coming to Semmes! How can you tell if a community is a "healthy" one? Look around... take notice. When you see new businesses opening (the majority being LOCALLY OWNED) and you see positive growth like we're seeing, you know that your community is healthy and prospering. Semmes is not only a wonderful place to live and work, but we're also a great place if you're thinking of opening up a business. New business equates to more jobs and more sales tax revenue - a healthier community for everyone!
And one last note of business, the Semmes WalMart has annexed in the balance of their parcel! The annexation was approved at the July 28th City Council meeting. We are so very excited that WalMart has choosen to include their entire parcel into our City Limits! This is quite a milestone for our new city - it means that we will be collecting our full sales tax rate at WalMart which mean additional sales tax revenue for our city. But don't fret - our city sales tax rate is the LOWEST of any municipality in Mobile County at only 2.5%. So you can rest assured that when you shop at the Semmes WalMart, you'll be paying less total sales tax than the other WalMarts in Mobile County municipalities. We also would like to welcome the Century Bank into our city limits - they also requested to join the new City of Semmes and their petition was approved in the same City Council meeting.
As you can tell, I'm excited about what's happening in Semmes. I'm proud of our community. Now, I'm looking forward to what August brings. Remember to take it slow driving and watch out for our children as school begins over the next weeks. Be especially careful and watchful when you see school busses - our children are our future.
Judith Hale, Mayor
Last Updated: May 10, 2013
Phone 251/649-8811 FAX 251/649-7711
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