Citrin Cardiology

Author: Dale Liesch

City presents plans for possible Civic Center redevelopment

The city came one step closer this week to answering a question that has plagued Mayor Sandy Stimpson’s administration for years: What should be done with the Mobile Civic Center? The city held an open house Nov. 13 to share four proposed concepts for the repurposing of the half century-old facility and the 22-acre site it sits on. During the open house, which attracted more than 350 participants, Stimpson recalled how tough it was initially to talk to citizens about the possibility of tearing the structure down and ridding the city of the millions of dollars in deferred maintenance costs. “It was like pulling out a cattle prod and hitting everyone,” he said. “Everyone took that cattle prod and hit me. We’re in this together.” While it appears completely tearing down the structure is no longer being considered, Stimpson did admit it would cost $20 million in maintenance to use the Civic Center as is and another $17.5 million over the next 10 years to further maintain it. The administration has hired commercial real estate firm CBRE, with architecture firm Gensler, to help the city develop a plan to repurpose the site while allowing some of its previous uses to flourish. One of the goals of the possible redevelopment is also to help the Civic Center compete with venues in Pensacola and Biloxi. The concepts range from leaving the...

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Zoghby Act created with 5-vote threshold to aid minority participation

The current Mobile City Council impasse over electing its new president isn’t the first time the five-vote majority rule in the law that created the city’s current form of government has been questioned, but leaders at the time of its inception still believe it’s a positive rule for Mobile. The five-vote majority stipulation in the Zoghby Act, which provides the blueprint for how city government runs, recently became the subject of controversy when Mobile City Councilman Fred Richardson was denied the body’s presidency despite winning a simple, 4-3 majority vote of his fellow councilors. Richardson and other councilors argued the council bucked tradition when he was denied the seat by saying he needed a supermajority of five votes. He accused the body of changing the rules to prevent him from obtaining the presidency. Councilman John Williams argued that four years ago, the official council leadership vote was unanimously in favor of Councilwoman Gina Gregory after she won a split, simple majority vote in what he called a legal, closed-door meeting. Williams said he refused to participate in a closed-door meeting this year because of the vote’s added scrutiny and press coverage. Mary Zoghby, one of the authors of the law, told Lagniappe that regardless of how it was handled in the past, the vote for council president, like almost all other council actions, should be decided by the five-vote...

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Drainage project underway on Grand Boulevard

Work has begun on Midtown’s Grand Boulevard to address major flooding issues that have plagued the road for decades. The drainage project is made possible by Capital Improvement Plan funds allocated by Councilman Fred Richardson. “I am happy to report that with funding in place, construction has already started on Grand Blvd that will correct years of flooding,” Richardson said. “We greatly appreciate the citizens patience during the construction phase and know that they will be more than pleased with the results that will correct longstanding issues.” The contract for the project with McElhenney Construction Company costs $628,269.60 and...

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Airbus gets commitment for 430 additional aircraft

Airbus and Indigo Partners’ four airlines have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the purchase by the four airlines of 430 additional A320neo Family aircraft. The aircraft will be allocated among the ultra low-cost airlines Frontier Airlines (United States), JetSMART (Chile), Volaris (Mexico) and Wizz Air (Hungary) upon the completion of final purchase agreements between Airbus and the four airlines. The 430-aircraft commitment, comprised of 273 A320neos and 157 A321neos worth $49.5 billion at list prices, was announced at the Dubai Airshow by Bill Franke, Managing Partner of Indigo Partners, and John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer Customers, Airbus...

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Failed president vote lingers as council business continues

In a continued tug-of-war on the ninth floor of Government Plaza, members of the Mobile City Council argued over whether the body could add an item to the agenda, or assign a committee meeting Tuesday without an elected president. The item in question was the contract for new council attorney Wanda Cochran. On Monday, Nov. 6, the council hired her on a 4-2 vote, with one abstention, but failed to approve the resolution and no terms or conditions were discussed at that time. At the same meeting, councilors voted by a 3-2 margin with two abstentions to retain former...

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BayBears sale finalized, move a possibility

BallCorps, LLC today announced that it has purchased the Mobile BayBears from Mobile Professional Baseball, LLC. Following approvals by the Southern League, Minor League Baseball and Major League Baseball, BallCorps closed on the sale and assumed control of the franchise Thursday, Nov. 9. The team will play in Hank Aaron Stadium in Mobile and will be managed by Mobile Professional Baseball through the 2018 season. “We are thrilled to start a new chapter with this team today,” BallCorps CEO Ralph Nelson said in a statement. “The BayBears have had a great relationship with the City of Mobile and its...

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Stimpson excludes drug, alcohol charges from new citation eligibility

Mayor Sandy Stimpson has resurrected an initiative designed to help keep more police on the streets, but with some interesting changes. The item slated for a first reading on Tuesday’s Mobile City Council agenda will make a number of minor, nonviolent offenses punishable by a citation only, instead of an arrest. The idea, Stimpson’s office wrote in a statement is to keep Mobile Police Department officers on the streets protecting the public instead of traveling back and forth to Metro Jail because of minor offenses. “Our ultimate goal is to keep our police officers on the streets, guard Mobilians...

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Mayor’s office announces annual tree lighting

The City of Mobile will once again host the annual Lighting of the Tree celebration in Bienville Square on Friday, Nov. 17 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Join Mayor Sandy Stimpson, Santa Claus, iHeartRadio’s Mixon the Reindeer and more as Mobile kicks off the holiday season. “Come celebrate the season!” Stimpson said. “Our annual tree lighting ceremony will kick off our holiday events complete with live music, outdoor movies, elves and more. This is an important time to come together, and I encourage all of our citizens to take part in the merriment.” Along with local artisans and...

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