Siegelman sees city as model for "Prosperity Plan"
Clif Knight, Hartselle Enquirer
"What has been done in Hartselle to revitalize Main Street is what I want to see happen in small cities and towns throughout Alabama," said former Governor Don Siegelman as he brought his campaign for the 2006 Democratic gubernatorial nomination to Hartselle last week.
Speaking with reporters at the corner of Main and Sparkman, Siegelman added, "I get a great feeling when I come to Hartselle. Main Street is alive and growing with home-owned and home-operated small businesses. What's even more impressive is that you have basically done it on your own."
As an incentive for other communities to invest in their own future he pointed out that he intends to implement a "Prosperity Plan for the People of Alabama" if he is elected the state's next governor.
He said one of the plan's priorities is to roll back annual property tax assessments to their former three-year cycle.
"Most people in Alabama are stretched as far as they can go when it comes to paying their taxes," he pointed out. "Many of them don't have the money they need to buy fuel to run their cars and to heat their homes. They need relief. One way to do that is to roll back annual property tax assessments."
Another is to create new and better jobs on a large scale by locating more automobile manufacturing plants in the state.
"I worked to bring in Honda, Toyota, Mercedes and Hyundai automobile plants when I was governor," he said. "That's the way to create large numbers of good jobs fast. We need to go back to the creative recruitment efforts that were being made back them to bring in more automotive companies."
To help stimulate economic growth in rural communities he said he plans to establish prosperity partnerships with local officials, business owners and developers. Prosperity districts would be created and grant assistance would be made available for infrastructure improvements in those districts.
Other parts of his plan include: