After an unsuccessful run for Alabama governor, Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox is taking what he’s learned and applying it to the city. WVUA 23’s Jabaree Prewitt sat down with Maddox for a discussion on his future plans in this three-part special report.READ THE SERIESPart 1Part 2Part 3Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox’s $250 million Elevate Tuscaloosa Proposal was a long time coming, he said, and it comes with some fixes that are also a long time overdue.“My first action as mayor in 2005 was to apologize to the people of West Tuscaloosa for the neglect they’ve seen for decades,” he said. “It’s been our No. 1 core of believe because West Tuscaloosa didn’t get the investment they deserved over time.”His new plan includes $60 million in West Tuscaloosa investments, including $18 million for the McDonald-Hughes Center. “I’m very proud in our 13 years we’ve made more than $100 million worth of infrastructure investments that certainly made a difference,” he said. “Now we have to put in even more of what I call ‘surface investments’, so that’s why it’s part of the Elevate Tuscaloosa plan.”That plan contains 19 projects throughout the city, and comes with a proposed 1-cent sales tax increase equaling out to about $250 million over the next 10 years.“If we don’t (do this) we’re not going to feel the effect in five years,” Maddox said. “Maybe in 10 years, but most likely 15 years from now we’ll wish we’d have been ahead of the curve instead of reacting to the curve.”Alabama Sen. Gerald Allen of Tuscaloosa has already filed a bill in the Alabama legislature that requires a referendum before any sales tax increases are enacted in Tuscaloosa County, saying he feels the people of Tuscaloosa County should decide for themselves if they want to pay more taxes. But that move, Maddox said, isn’t stopping him.“Tuscaloosa has one of the highest credit ratings in the state, and the lowest city sales tax,” Maddox said. “We have one of the lowest unemployment rates, one of the highest employment rates. In nearly every measure that you judge a city, we’re in that top category.” Alabama Rep. Chris England is filing a bill in the Alabama legislature that would exempt Tuscaloosa’s portion of the grocery tax if it’s passed.
About admin ShareCONTACT: Ellen ChangPHONE:(713) 348-6777EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.orgHARVARD PROFESSOR TOSPEAK ABOUT DIVERSITYWell-known HarvardUniversity professor Cornel West will discuss his views on diversity in themillennium at a lecture on April 16 at Rice University. West will speak about a“Dialog On Diversity.” The lecture begins at 7 p.m. in the Grand Hall in RiceMemorial Center. West will be available at a 6 p.m. reception and at the booksigning following his speech.West is the author of 13books, including “Race Matters,” a best seller that received attention from Timeand Newsweek, which each featured a profile of him. His other works include“Beyond Eurocentrism and Multiculturism,” “Breaking Bread,” “Keeping Faith,”“Jews and Blacks: Let the Healing Begin” and “Restoring Hope: Conversations onthe Future of Black America.” He also wrote “The War Against Parents” withSylvia Ann Hewlett, with whom he co-chairs the National Parenting Association’sTalk Force on Parent Empowerment. His most recent publication, “The Cornel WestReader,” traces the development of his career as an academic, intellectual andactivist.He is the AlphonseFletcher Jr. Professor at Harvard, where he was promoted recently to universityprofessor, a title held by only 14 of the school’s 2,200 faculty members. Heteaches Afro-American studies and philosophy of religion.West’s work which isinfluenced by traditions as diverse as the Baptist Church, Americantranscendentalism and literature, the Black Panthers and European philosophy,seeks to revive the best of liberalism, populism and democratic socialism. Awell-respected and popular lecturer, West’s speaking style – formed by his rootsin the Baptist Church – provides a blend of drama, knowledge andinspiration.West attended publicschools in Sacramento and then went to Harvard, where he graduated magna cumlaude in three years in 1973. He went on to Princeton, earning his master’sdegree in 1975 and his doctorate in 1980.The lecture is hosted bythe Black Graduate Student Association, the Jones School and the Rice UniversityBlack Student Coalition, which consists of members of the Black StudentAssociation, the Black Graduate Student Association and the Rice chapter of theNational Society of Black Engineers. The group organized West’s lecture in aneffort to initiate a dialog on diversity in the new millennium.The lecturesets the stage for the Enhancing Black Leadership Conference, which begins onApril 27 and is hosted by the National Black MBA Association, the Jesse H. JonesGraduate School of Management and Rice University Executive Education. For moreinformation on the conference, call (713) 348-6060. AddThis