Author: Dale Liesch

Mobile City Councilman denies waterfront home is his primary residence

The location of District 3 City Councilman C.J. Small’s $1.1 million Dog River home is raising eyebrows as the Aug. 22 municipal election draws near. The house on Dog River Road is one of three owned by Small, according to information from the Mobile County Revenue Commissioner. It also happens to be outside the city limits, with a Theodore address. Small also owns a historic home at 951 Marine St., which is in District 3, and another on Smith Street. In an email message, Small said the home on Marine Street, which is worth just under $120,000 according to...

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Council delays vote on downtown apartments, approves Carnival contract

The city is close to finalizing the sale of a brownfield site downtown known colloquially as City Hall North. The Mobile City Council, per its own rules, delayed a vote on the sale for at least one week. If approved, the building at 350 St. Joseph Street would be sold to developers for $548,000, which is the fair market value on the building, Brad Christensen, director of asset management, said. Developers want to turn the old Seaman’s Hotel into combination apartments. Plans are currently for the building to house 67 apartments — a combination of one-bedroom studios as well...

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Mayoral candidates debate housing, finances and racial issues in WPMI forum

If viewers believed the two main candidates to be Mobile’s mayor, each had a hand in correcting the city’s financial structure and neither could be blamed for the condition of its public housing. Incumbent Mayor Sandy Stimpson and former Mayor Sam Jones, one of the challengers in the Aug. 22 election, blamed each other for the shortcomings of the Mobile Housing Board of Commissioners during a televised debate Monday night on WPMI Local 15. A report from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General released in 2016 documented the board’s financial noncompliance and conflicts of interest dating back to 2011. Because the board awarded a contract to Superior Masonry, which is owned by the half-brother of State Rep. Adline Clarke, a vice president for the board’s nonprofit arm, Mobile Development Enterprises, the board had to pay back millions in nonfederal funds to HUD. Jones said during the debate he hadn’t read the report, but thought the commissioners at the time were doing a good job. He said he mostly reappointed former Mayor Mike Dow’s selections. Stimpson accused Jones of “stacking the board” just before leaving office in 2013. Stimpson added that HUD visited his office shortly after he was sworn in to inform him Mobile had the third-worst Housing Board in the country. In a rebuttal, Jones accused Stimpson of “stacking” the board with...

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District 5 candidates talk city funding, crime cures

Two financial minds will collide on Tuesday, Aug. 22, in the race for Mobile City Council District 5, as incumbent Joel Daves (pictured above) will appear on the ballot along with challenger Arianna McArthur. Daves, chairman of the council’s finance committee, and McArthur, owner of a local financial services firm, both believe the city should continue its sound financial judgment moving forward. Daves credits good budgeting and tough decisions for keeping the city in the black, despite flat revenues. He said the council and Mayor Sandy Stimpson have been able to refrain from pulling money out of other accounts...

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Carnival extends contract with city to December 2018

Carnival Cruise Line and the city of Mobile have reached a deal maintaining the city as a port of call for at least one more year. Mayor Sandy Stimpson made the announcement Monday evening at a press conference at the Mobile Regional Airport after returning from a meeting at Carnival headquarters earlier in the day. According to a statement, Carnival’s one-year deal with the city to bring in the 855-foot Fantasy last year represented more than $4.7 million in gross revenue, which could increase to $6.4 million over a full calendar year. “This agreement is evidence of the positive...

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