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Building Relationships
 The Political Round-Up

By Chip Drago
Mobile Bay Times
​Happenings and observations on the passing political scene ...

Businessman Sandy Stimpson will kick off his campaign for mayor of Mobile with a rally Saturday from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Greater Gulf State Fairgrounds, 1035 Cody Road North. Food, music and entertainment for the kids will be provided. The event will take place inside. City elections are Aug. 27.

Retired banker and community volunteer Joel Daves announced his campaign for the District 5 seat on the Mobile City Council. Daves hopes to succeed octogenarian City Council President Reggie Copeland. Copeland is retiring. He is the only representative District 5 has had since the inception of the mayor/council government in 1985.  
Daves stated: "The future is bright for Mobile, but we have to be disciplined as leaders and steer our city in the right direction and do so with everyone at the table. Over the past six months I have spoken to citizens and city employees, I have met with neighborhood groups, with pastors and with small business owners. I have met with firemen and have talked with police captains, lieutenants, sergeants and with patrolmen on the beat. I have listened to these folks as they told me about their dreams for our city and how they think the city can be improved. They want the same things the rest of us want: a clean, safe city that is fun to live in and has opportunities for all of us to grow and succeed. If we are to achieve this vision we cannot be divided. Our future depends on our ability to unite and move forward together.

"My campaign is based on a principle that I learned many years ago in the banking business. The customer is always right. Sometimes that can be hard, but you know, it is important that we never forget who pays the bills in city hall and that those tax dollars don't come easy. Which means we must spend them wisely. I will take my experience in business with me to my first day on the job and work shoulder to shoulder with the council, the mayor and the city staff to create strong fiscal policy that protects our city's future.

Our employees are our greatest asset and they deserve the security of knowing that our priorities are in order and that we will never forget the hard work they do for this community - we will show our commitment to them by our daily work to keep our finances sound and our savings account full. When we strengthen our finances, we can afford to take care of that which our citizens deserve and expect - public safety. Every tax dollar we save and spend wisely can be put to good use by our police and fire departments.

Strong leadership in our spending habits can and will create dollars that help take care of those who take care of us by providing better training, equipment, and the one thing they deserve most - a fair compensation package. We can't continue to ask our police and fire departments to do more, while we do less and less to support them.

Lastly, but just as important - we must provide leadership in the area of business services. Our small business community is the life blood of Mobile and they are not properly supported. Every day some energetic and enthusiastic entrepreneur is planning a new venture, a job creating venture that streams tax dollars into the city's bank account. But we fail to encourage that venture. Instead of making it easy and supporting that business owner, we make it hard and complicated. That must end."

For more information visit his website.   

​With Angus Cooper turning 70, he was not eligible for reappointment to the University of Alabama Board of Trustees. Mobile businessman Harris Morrissette has been tapped to replace Cooper. Morrissette was a strong contender for an opening several years ago, along with Riley Boykin Smith and Elliot Maisel, when Marietta Urquhart was appointed. At that time, an influential group of Jefferson County senators with ties to UAB preferred Urquhart who attended the University of Alabama but earned her degree from UAB.

Morrissette has served as president of China Doll Rice & Beans/Dixie Lily Foods since 2007. Morrissette serves as director of several other board, including Banctrust Financial Group Inc. Board in Mobile, the International Shipholding Corporation Board in Mobile, the Williamsburg Investment Trust Board in Cincinnati, Oh., and the White-Spunner Construction Inc. Board in Mobile.

Urquhart was reappointed as well.

They will serve six-year terms.

A run-off is likely in Tuesday's special election to fill the House District 97 seat in north Mobile vacated by the death of Yvonne Kennedy. Experienced District 97 politicos suggest the two finalists will probably emerge from a group of businesswoman Adline Clark, attorney Karlos Finley and Mobile City Councilman William Carroll, with social worker Kim Pettway a dark horse. Clark, who also has a consulting contract with the Mobile Housing Board, is believed to have the backing of Mayor Sam   Jones and his political organization.

Others in the crowded field include Jeffery Ray Jones, Ronnie L. Williams and Levi Wright, Jr.

If Carroll doesn't win the House seat and bids for re-election to the District 2 slot on the City Council, he can expect opposition from, among others, Rev. Levon Manzie, a commissioner on the Mobile County School Board. Manzie has already organized his City Council campaign and begun raising money. His campaign account showed a balance of more than $9,000, according to the most recent records.

Third place finisher Nick Matranga has endorsed Jim Barton in the legislator's runoff race with Bill Hightower for the state Senate District 35 seat. (See foto) Hightower led the Jan. 29 primary election with more than 46 percent of the vote. Barton tallied about 30 percent and Matranga got about 23 percent. Less than seven percent of the electorate turned out to vote. The runoff is March 12.

From a Reuters news service report:

Airbus parent EADS (EAD.PA) confirmed it had proposed former Thales Chief Executive Denis Ranque as its next chairman under a new shareholder structure.

The appointment will be discussed by a new board following an extraordinary shareholder meeting scheduled for March 27 that will also vote on a planned share buyback, EADS said.

The European aerospace company announced the nomination of Ranque, 61, on its Twitter feed. He will replace Arnaud Lagardere whose French media group plans to sell its stake.

Ranque's nomination confirms plans reported by Reuters as the list of board members was unveiled last week, and follows a battle for the top post in Europe's largest aerospace firm.

The French government had backed Anne Lauvergeon, former head of reactor maker Areva, for the role but EADS insisted on picking one of the board's independent majority as the company seeks to curb political influence from France and Germany.

Lauvergeon will sit on the board as a representative of French interests. Besides Airbus civil jets, EADS makes Ariane space rockets, French nuclear weapons and German fighter planes.

A fundraiser was held Thursday evening at John Word's The Captain Table Restaurant & Jazz Cafe to benefit Mobile City Councilwoman Gina Gregory's bid for re-election this summer.

A $250 per couple contribution was requested.

Hosts of the even included:

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