Looking forward to New Year

Published 5:28 pm Monday, January 3, 2011

Two thousand eleven figures to be a crucial year for government at all levels, and offices in Chilton County won’t be any different.

Luckily, local public officials seem to enter the New Year with some momentum.

Tim Mims was elected to a historic third term as chairman of the Chilton County Commission, meaning that body should enjoy more consistency and familiarity than it ever has. That’s good news because the commission will be tasked with walking a financial tightrope.

Mims told The Clanton Advertiser that avoiding borrowing money would be the commission’s biggest challenge in 2011. That will be more difficult than ever before because federal stimulus money is drying up, and revenue still doesn’t measure up with expenses, especially on roads in the county.

All four municipalities—Clanton, Jemison, Maplesville and Thorsby—have much to look forward to.

Clanton will continue to reap the benefits of being the seat of a county in a prime location for growth. Chilton County boasts several corridors to Interstate 65 and is nestled halfway between Birmingham and Montgomery.

Jemison is growing faster than any other part of the county. Several new businesses have either opened already or will soon.

Thorsby, like Jemison, is now receiving tax money on alcohol after residents voted to go wet.

And Maplesville, with new Mayor Aubrey Latham, is trying to stay the course set by former mayor Kurt Wallace, who is now serving as a state representative for Chilton County.

Wallace, along with new state Sen. Cam Ward, have already participated in a special session of the Alabama Legislature that produced several ethics reform bills.

We hope they—and all our other local public officials—can continue their productivity in the New Year.