Pelham council conducts CDA board interviews

PELHAM – The Pelham City Council interviewed two candidates for the Commercial Development Authority board at its meeting on Monday, April 17.

There are three four-year positions available on the board and five Pelham residents have applied to fill them, said City Council President Rick Hayes. Once appointed, the positions will expire in March 2021.

Hayes said the council will likely vote on the matter at its next meeting on May 1.

“I feel comfortable that everyone will have the information they need to make their decisions by May 1,” Hayes said. “But if not, then we won’t rush them.”

Incumbents Lenny Glynn and Clay Alford are seeking reappointment to the board, while newcomers Amy Bradley, Elizabeth Roland and Michele Robertson are hoping to be appointed to the board for the first time.

Hayes said Glynn and Alford were not interviewed because the council already knows both of them through their work on the CDA board.

Bradley applied and interviewed for a vacant seat on the board in December, but the position went to Frederick Hamilton, who has 27 years of experience in community and economic development.

Since the council interviewed Bradley in December, they decided that a second interview was not necessary.

Hayes said the council agreed to touch bases with Alford, Glynn and Bradley individually if needed.

“We decided that it’s not necessary to bring everyone in for an interview,” Hayes said.

During her December interview, Bradley, a Pelham realtor and a licensed general contractor, said that if selected for the position her first priority would be developing the east side of Interstate 65. She said the area lacks shopping and eatery options.

She said Pelham is “poised to be a health and fitness community” with Oak Mountain State Park, Ballantrae Golf Club and Pelham Racquet Club being located in the city and the recreation center and greenway trails projects under way.

First-time applicants Roland and Robertson were the only two to be interviewed at the April 17 meeting. They both shared why they want to be a member of board and what strengths they would add to dynamic of the board.

Here’s what the candidates said during their interviews:

Elizabeth Roland

Roland, a 10-year Pelham resident, is a general practice lawyer with more than 25 years of experience. She owns a law practice located off Shelby County 95 in Helena. She said she would bring legal knowledge to the board, as well as offer advice to others about how to successfully operate a small business.

“I would be interested in helping people start small businesses and teaching them what it takes to open a business,” Roland said.

As far as development goes, Roland said she would like to see some development on the other side of I-65, near Pelham Ridge Elementary and Pelham Racquet Club.

“I would like to see a nice mix of retail and fast casual eateries, not just one or the other,” Roland said. “I’d also like to see some soccer fields here in the city so kids wouldn’t have to go to other places to play.”

Michele Robertson

Robertson moved to Pelham in 1977 and decided to stay because, as an Army brat, she wanted a place to call home. As an active member of the community, Robertson said she has had opportunities to hear the frustrations of the community. One thing she said residents are frustrated about is businesses overcrowding Cahaba Valley Road and traffic on U.S. 31.

“Most people I talk to want to see higher-end retailers and eateries,” she said.

Robertson said she would like to see eateries such as Taco Mama and Panera Bread come to the area. She said her strengths include fundraising and knowing how to talk to businesses.

“I’m a go-getter,” she said. “I know how to go out and talk to people and find out what their opinions are in regards to the needs of the city. I’m invested in helping the city and would love an opportunity to help the city in any way that I can.”