Florence mayor addresses leadership criticism - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Florence mayor addresses leadership criticism

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The finance committee approved the multi-million dollar bond to pay for nearly a dozen projects within the city. The finance committee approved the multi-million dollar bond to pay for nearly a dozen projects within the city.
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FLORENCE, AL (WAFF) -

It has been almost one year since the City of Florence Finance Committee approved a more than $18 million bond issue to pay for several projects.

Mayor Mickey Haddock said city leaders are still moving forward on all the projects, even if there is nothing physically to show for it just yet.

The finance committee approved the multi-million dollar bond to pay for nearly a dozen projects within the city. Most of the construction projects, including the animal shelter, River Heritage Park and Indian Mound, all have architects hired for the jobs.

Haddock said the Sportsplex is moving a little quicker and all bids on the project should be in by the end of the month. He said the senior center project has been put on hold due to land and relocation concerns.

As for repairs on Wood Avenue, Mayor Haddock said ATRIP money has come in, and repairs are expected to begin by March.

"It just takes a while to put it all together. You can't really start right away, but we'll get there. We're going to get there and hopefully we'll be moving forward rather quickly," he said.

The mayor said the city's main focus for 2014 is establishing new jobs in the Shoals. He said city leaders are committed to working with Seda and surrounding cities to continue to create job opportunities for the community.

He also spoke about heat he has taken over recent shakeups. Some community members have questioned his leadership on the heels of a possible tourism take-over and fallout at the animal shelter.

Eyebrows were raised last month after Mayor Haddock proposed a resolution that included major changes to tourism in the Shoals, including a reallocation of lodging tax revenue, which could lead to a possible disbandment of the tourism board.

Since then, both city and county leaders, along with the tourism board, have created a committee to re-evaluate the resolution and discuss changes. 

Last week, the city's police chief banned the animal shelter's head volunteer on an account of insubordination. Both moves created an outcry of concern from community members.

Haddock said controversy is just the nature of the beast, but feels confident the issues will pass.

"I have the utmost confidence in all my department heads and their leadership skills. Bottom line, when we finish up, not everyone will be happy, but a very large majority of the people will be happy," he said.

The mayor went on to say city leaders are working to provide the best customer service they can to the community, which he said translates into a high quality of life.

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