Chelsea leaders meet with business owners

Local business owners and residents met with newly elected Chelsea Officials at the law offices of Boardman, Carr, Petelos, Watkins and Ogle, PC at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 8.

“Chelsea is an important city in Shelby County. We have new leadership for the first time since the city was founded. We thought that it would be worthwhile for folks have the chance to meet, network and get to know our new leadership,” Greater Shelby County Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Kirk Mancer said.

According to Mancer, this event was specifically planned in accordance with the changes in Chelsea’s leadership during the municipal election in November.

“This is the first one of these that we’ve done. They city of Chelsea is one of the fastest growing communities in the state and in Shelby County, and we just felt like it was important to give the business community the chance to meet with the new leadership,” Mancer said.

Chelsea City Council member David Ingram said the event helped to increase communication between city officials, residents and business owners.

“It’s a priority of ours to improve communication and our transparency between what goes in at City Hall and the community,” Ingram said.

As the only remaining council member from the last term, Ingram said relations between the city of Chelsea and local businesses have always been mostly positive, but there is always room for improvement.

“Our business community has been tightly knit, anyway. I don’t see any issues with our current businesses. We just want to continue to help with their needs and listen to them,” Ingram said.

The event began with a reception that was catered by Johnny Ray’s BBQ of Chelsea. At 6 p.m., attendees gathered around city officials to hear them speak about their plans for the city’s business community.

“[Chelsea is] truly the envy of Shelby County and Central Alabama. We’re a place where people want to live. We hope to manage our growth, and we want to improve your quality of life. We’ve inherited a very healthy city,” Mayor Tony Picklesimer said. “Our citizens are interested, and they’re excited about the opportunities we have before us.”

Picklesimer stressed the importance of managing the city’s growth responsibly. Picklesimer said his background as a local business owner will help him when managing the city and understanding the perspectives of businesses.

“A city government is a people business. Being a good steward of taxes and running businesses the way they should be run is important. We’re interested in recruiting new businesses, but we’re also interested in accommodating businesses that are already here.” Picklesimer said.

Ingram also said the city is looking to hire a retail recruiting firm to help the Chelsea business community grow.

The event was co-hosted by the Greater Shelby County Chamber of Commerce and the South Shelby Chamber of Commerce. About 55 people attended.