Alabaster candidates share thoughts

Alabaster mayoral candidates, from left, Kevin Brand, incumbent Mayor David Frings and Marty Handlon prepare to answer questions during an Aug. 21 forum at Thompson High School. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

 By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Alabaster’s mayoral candidates shared their thoughts on several issues facing the city during an Aug. 21 forum in the Thompson High School auditorium.

During the forum, which was sponsored by the Greater Shelby Chamber of Commerce and the Shelby County Reporter, mayoral candidates Kevin Brand, incumbent Mayor David Frings and Marty Handlon answered several questions related to the city’s economy, growth and future.

Brand, who is a Shelby County Sheriff’s Office deputy, said Alabaster has lost “that closeness of community” as a result of its rapid growth, and said he would support growing the Alabaster police and fire departments.

Brand also said he would like to bring more family oriented businesses such as bowling alleys and arcades to the city, said he would like to grow Alabaster’s youth offerings and said he would like the city to re-examine its “regulations for small businesses” in an effort to fill the city’s vacant storefronts.

Frings, who has been mayor since 2000, said he would like to “continue the progress the city has seen over the past 12 years,” and said he would like to work to bring light industrial and retail businesses to the city to support city projects such as new police and fire stations.

Frings said he has worked to build relationships with property owners and developers over the years, and said he and the members of the City Council and Industrial Development Board have worked well during his tenure.

Handlon, a certified public accountant who operates an accounting firm in Alabaster, said she would support bringing more office space into the city to allow Alabaster residents to work in the city, and said Alabaster should “have a full-time mayor.”

Handlon said she would work to support the new Alabaster Board of Education, said she would like to create Podcasts of city meetings and said she would like to “listen to the concerns of small business owners” in an effort to help them be successful.

Alabaster’s municipal election will be held on Aug. 28 from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. at the Shelby County Instructional Services Center off U.S. 31.