Mary Brabner, 55, announced her intention to seek a fourth term as the District 5 representative on the Spanish Fort City Council in the Aug. 23 municipal election.
Brabner, a resident of District 5 which encompasses more than half of Spanish Fort Estates was first elected in 2004. Prior to that, Brabner served four years on the Spanish Fort Planning Commission.After witnessing and helping manage the growth of Spanish Fort, Brabner hopes to provide more services for the fast-growing town’s citizens, while maintaining the small town character.
A resident of Spanish Fort for 23 years, Mary Brabner has spent 12 years on the City Council with four years prior experience on the city’s Planning Commission. She has witnessed and helped to manage the growth of Spanish Fort. Her goal is to provide more services for the citizens yet maintain the city’s small town character. Growth brings challenges and she believes the city leaders, past and present, have done a fine job of managing the growth by implementing comprehensive plans for the city’s development.
She is proud to be on a team that values the city’s policy of fiscal conservancy while still being able to offer activities for residents to enjoy. The new municipal complex, library and senior center are exciting additions for all citizens. Spirit Park is one of the city’s proudest accomplishments with tennis courts, a walking trail and baseball and softball fields. The city has expanded the facilities for athletics at Spanish Fort High School and Spanish Fort Middle School, and the youth recreational leagues with future expansion currently in the planning stages on Highway 181.
Brabner has worked on the team that successfully received sidewalk grants for Blakeley Way and a future sidewalk along Highway 225 to connect Blakeley Way and Spanish Fort Elementary School.
Brabner said she is concerned the revenue streams for the city are heavily weighed on sales tax revenue. The Eastern Shore Centre and the Spanish Fort Town Center are both facing vacancies, which could make an impact on the budget for 2016-2017. While the restaurant activity within the city is thriving, the retail activity appears to be falling off. Brabner is concerned that some of the small retailers’ success is the result of activity at the larger retailers that may be leaving the center and the possible impact of the overall center when the larger retailers leave.
She intends to watch the activity at both malls closely to see where city involvement opportunities may arise. Her 16 years of experience in the mortgage industry has kept her involved in the housing industry and aware of the impact of the explosion of new construction in and around the city.
With new residents moving into the area, young people buying first homes, middle aged buyers moving up into larger houses, and seniors downsizing Spanish Fort now has available housing for all types of buyers.
“It is exciting to see the impact that the housing market is having on all aspects of the city,” Brabner said. “With the explosion comes the need for more activities for all age groups to get involved in, from education to recreation to expanded hours in the Library and Senior Center.”
Her involvement in the Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce for many years leads her to understand the need to work together with local, state and national leaders to get our goals accomplished.
“While I may technically represent the residents of District 5, I believe that I truly represent the entire city,” she said.