Business, budgets key topics at forum

Business and budgets dominated discussion Tuesday night at the municipal election forum at Montevallo High School.

The three candidates for mayor, Ben McCrory, Steven Sears and Roger Wheeler, outlined their platforms and answered questions.

District 1 candidates Patrick Draper, Rusty Nix and Tami Pickett, as well as District 4 contenders Hollie Cost and Randall Scott also spoke.

The four local chambers of commerce and the Shelby County Reporter sponsored the event.

McCrory promised he would work to recruit new business.

“I charge you to present a candidate who has worked harder to bring business to Montevallo,” said McCrory, Montevallo chamber of commerce president.

McCrory said he seeks to bring “cohesion and cooperation” to City Hall.

Sears called for new development and stronger ties with the University of Montevallo.

“I’m uniquely qualified to address job growth — I am a businessman,” said Sears, a lawyer. “I plan to work with the college. That’s the one thing we’ve got in this town that sets us apart.”

Sears was Montevallo’s city attorney for 20 years and is a past president of the Montevallo chamber of commerce.

Wheeler pledged to tackle Montevallo’s declining revenue and ever-tightening budgets.

“The first issue I would try to tackle is the city’s budget,” said Wheeler, former mayor of Alabaster. “If we don’t see increases, we’ll be in big trouble.”

Wheeler said he would work to collect all money that is due to the city and make Montevallo more attractive to business.