Thursday, August 13, 2009

shamelessly promoting my own career

Editor's note: On the occasion when my columns aren't posted online — like this week — I indulge myself by re-posting them here. This column wasn't very good, but it did run, so we must take the bad in with the good. In any case, feel free to post your own thoughts below. For more of what I actually get paid to do, visit

Ability to work together makes county one of the state's best

During my time as a sportswriter, one of my favorite things about talking to coaches was the clichés they used.

My favorite: “Keep doing what we’ve been doing.”

In the case of St. Clair County, “what we’ve been doing” has been about teamwork. On either side of the county, among multiple municipalities … heck, even in law enforcement — everyone seems perfectly content to work together.

Recently, the town of Steele broke ground on a brand-new Love’s Travel Center, something that will greatly increase the town’s budget, according to the mayor.

State representative Blaine Galliher, in attendance for the groundbreaking, called the event a testimony to the county’s esprit de corps.

“It just goes to show how well the people in this county work together,” he told the crowd. “Unlike some other places that have been in the news recently, people in St. Clair have worked real well together to accomplish things for their citizens.”

It’s a sentiment that’s been echoed at other levels of government. When he officially announced his intention to leave his post at the county’s Economic Development Council, Ed Gardner Jr. expressed his thanks to the county for its willingness to work in concert with him and his staff.

“We’ve been really fortunate,” he said. “It’s blown me away the support we’ve gotten from our elected officials around the county.

“It’s been an amazing experience, all we’ve been able to do in the county, and it’s all because of the support we’ve received.”

Incidentally, the “some places that have been in the news recently” that Galliher mentioned is another constant theme in the recent news. Elected officials won’t say it, but I will: they’re referring to Jefferson County, whose well documented predicament has actually led for the governor to declare it a disaster area.

Contrast that with St. Clair, which actually has money to spend on forward thinking projects (Grand River, St. Vincent’s, Coosa Valley Water and so forth). Odds are you won’t hear sheriff Terry Surles calling for National Guard help anytime soon.

(Please note: Cooperation isn’t the same as acclamation, which occurs when everybody agrees on everything without discussion. If you’re around a governing body doing that, be suspicious. Because something else is taking place.)

A quick story that might help prove some things: hanging around the courthouse in Pell City last week, I actually ran into the pastor from the church where my wife grew up. The church, incidentally, is located in Vestavia Hills.

“We came down here to see about getting our driver’s licenses renewed,” he said. “I mean, a 15-minute wait versus waiting 4 hours … that’s kind of a no-brainer.”

It sure is. And that’s why it’s a good idea to keep doing what we’ve been doing.

1 comment:

-D. said...

He could easily have been talking about Lake View and Woodstock, too, although we haven't had the press that Jefferson County gets. I'm glad St. Clair County is getting it right...I just wish we could get it right out here as well.