Dothan Leaders Talk Discuss Goals for the Future

By: Tim Elliott Email
By: Tim Elliott Email

Dothan city leaders gathered downtown Saturday morning to discuss their plans and priorities for the future.

Also, city leaders say 2009 was a success.

They believe their most notable accomplishment was navigating through the economic crisis and revenue shortfall without a significant decrease in services as well as avoiding layoffs.

But 2010 is a new year and city leaders say they're poised to make Dothan a better place to live.

“We know that we're going to continue to grow that we've got to deal with that growth and we got to continue to build a city that people take pride in,”

Dothan City Manager Mike West says the city commission is working toward a common goal.

“They all want Dothan to be a great place to live and they want a strong economy that creates jobs not only for the current generation but for future generations,” said West.

“We have a very passionate group of commissioners about different issues that they want to get across and I think we're definitely narrowing down the vision,” said Dothan Mayor Mike Schmitz.

To help steer the city in the right direction, leaders enlisted of Lyle Sumek.

For the past 30 years, Sumek has been traveling the country, helping officials outline their formula for success.

“I think the biggest problem is trying to explain to citizens the value they get for the city dollars when they don't want to see 'em; they want to drive down a smooth road, they don't think about the road being rough,” said Sumek.

“What he does is talk about what challenges we have and what other cities have done and things they've done wrong and things they've done right, he helps us get organized,” said Mayor Schmitz.

Sumek says in 2009, The Dothan City Commission completed 80% of the projects they laid out to accomplish.

They say now it's time to think about what decisions made in 2010 will define the city for years to come.

West says once again, his biggest concern for 2010 is how to deal with the economy and declining revenues.

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