Latham looks back on year as mayor

Published 6:09 pm Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Maplesville Mayor Aubrey Latham knows as much about his town as anyone—but he’s learned a lot more this past year.

Nov. 9 marked Latham’s one-year anniversary of being sworn in as mayor, but he has invested more than 365 days in his small hometown.

Latham was born and raised in Maplesville, has lived there his whole life and has served on the town council since 1996.

“I have no plans for leaving,” he said. “There were some things I had to learn, but overall, it’s been enjoyable.”

Latham has seen both positive and negative changes in Maplesville.

Positives include a sidewalk and street lighting project and new equipment for the fire department, compliments of grants the town applied for and received about three years ago.

“The positive side is that we actually have a good budget that we can live with, but a lot of that depends on the economy,” he said. “We try to give the best service we can through fire and police departments without compromising the safety of the citizens.”

Negative changes include several business closings and a decrease in jobs in Maplesville.

Latham said the town’s population has remained relatively steady since the last census, but the loss of jobs has hurt economic growth.

“If we could just find some jobs, especially in our vicinity, something to bring in a little revenue,” he said, “would definitely help if it was located in our tax jurisdiction.”

Latham also wants residents to have a more active role in the town government by attending council meetings or voicing questions and concerns to him or council members.

“If the general public would really get involved more, (they would) get an idea of how a town or city works,” he said.

Latham credited Town Clerk Sheila Haigler for helping him oversee town operations.

“She’s really the one that keeps the town afloat,” he said. “She keeps it running.”

Latham has managed to balance his mayoral position with a full-time job at Auto Collision Repair in Clanton for a year now, and he’s not ready to slow down yet.

He said he would like to serve as mayor again, but at the very least, as a council member.

“Right now, I hope to be on the next administration in some form or fashion,” he said.