Mobilians Give High Grades to Their City Council Members

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Mobile voters like the job their city council member is doing.

News-5 and Strategy Research asked voters to grade the job “their” council member is doing. 34-percent  gave their council member an “A,” 35-percent a “B,” 19-percent  “C,” seven-percent a “D,” and six-percent an “F.” That’s a grade point average of 2.94 – nearly a B.

“It’s really gratifying,” said Council President Gina Gregory.

She says part of the reason for the high marks is the council’s healthy relationship with Mayor Sandy Stimpson.

“Overall this council and the mayor have worked very well together and I think people see that and appreciate that,” Gregory said.

Council members also marked on their ability to get along with each other.

“There is no bickering among this council,” said Council Vice President Fred Richardson, “because we have respect for each other, we have relationships with each other, we meet and resolve our issues and we move forward.”

Richardson and others say the Council’s controversial decision to renew the additional penny sales tax and dedicate the funds to capital improvements across the city is the main reason council members are receiving high marks.

“The penny tax operated several years before we dedicated it,” Richardson said. “Not a dime of it went to resurface roads or cover a ditch.  But when we took the penny over and started managing the penny, look what has happened in these neighborhoods.”

“I think as long as people see that we are making improvements with this money they’re okay with it,” added Gregory. “If they thought this money was going down some deep, dark hole, it would be a completely different story.”

The poll asked voters to grade “their” council member – not the council as a whole which typically brings much lower marks.

“We see that people in the city are very pleased with the representation they’re getting from their council people,” said Jon Gray of Strategy Research who conducted the poll. “In no area in the city did we find any bad numbers. And across the board, just as we computed the mayor’s average, the council’s average was higher than the mayor’s.”

The Council’s 2.94 GPA bettered Stimpson’s 2.77. But Gray says both grades are quite high compared to how municipal officials typically fare.

“It’s our hometown and people are really pleased with the direction things are going,” Gray said.

The poll was conducted by phone in late October.

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