Vestavia Hills Living

2017

Official magazine published by the Vestavia Hills Chamber of Commerce for the City of Vestavia Hills which details the quality of life, education, shopping and lifestyle of Vestavia Hills.

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M A Y O R ' S O F F I C E After 25 years of working in federal law enforcement with the FBI and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Ashley Curry decided to run for mayor of Vestavia Hills at the encouragement of several friends. "I felt indebted to our city for family experiences with our schools, our parks and recreation, civic clubs and our churches," he says. "Having lived in Vestavia Hills for more than 30 years, each of these entities contributed to our lives." As the new mayor, Curry is focused on accomplishing a number of goals for the city, such as implementing the city's Community Spaces Plan, which will enhance the city's parks, green spaces and recreational fields. The plan also includes the acquisition or building of a new community center to replace Vestavia Hills' existing civic center, which is more than 50 years old. "A new facility would provide adequate space for all our program needs," Curry says. In addition, Curry says he is focused on addressing economic development for the city. While Vestavia Hills operates city services primarily from sales tax revenues, its sales tax revenue per capita, or the tax dollars received per citizen, lags behind that of neighboring communities. He hopes to systematically grow businesses within the city in order to grow sales tax revenue. With greater tax collections, the city could fund more programs requested by residents, Curry says. Curry and his wife have been married for 45 years and now have four grandchildren, and he says his life choices have always revolved around his family. As he leads Vestavia Hills, he wants to promote the decisions that will best serve other local families. "I would like Vestavia Hills residents to know that I am truly humbled by being elected mayor," he says. "I want to be a servant-minded leader and do what is best for our city." Dennis (Rusty) Weaver, newly elected Mayor Pro-Tem, also has a long history with the city of Vestavia Hills. His family first moved to the city in 1976, when he was in elementary school. Weaver graduated from VHHS in 1988, and eventually returned to the city as an adult. "Since I was in high school, the population of Vestavia Hills has doubled," he says. "It is amazing that we have grown so much and still maintain the level of excellence that exists." While he works as a farmer with a working farm in Etowah County, Weaver has volunteered with the Vestavia Hills Parks and Recreation Department since moving back to the city. "The main goal for me is to bring our city together," he says. "There have been a number of controversial issues in recent years, as well as divisiveness between the various geographical areas of our city. I really hope that we can come together as one community in a way that benefits our city moving forward." In addition to building unity, Weaver also aims to help attract and retain more sustainable, revenue-producing entities to Vestavia Hills. "This is really the key to meeting the expectations of the citizens in terms of schools, service and amenities in the city," he says. C I T Y C O U N C I L M E M B E R S While City Councilman George Pierce will remain in his seat, the other Council members—Kimberly Cook and Paul Head—are new to their positions. Both have a long history of volunteering in the city and viewed the Council as a place to make a more formal, lasting commitment to Vestavia Hills. Cook has been an advocate for Vestavia Hills schools for a number of years, and has enjoyed helping people get answers to their questions. "I believed gaining a seat on the council would give me a stronger platform to address people's concerns regarding schools, roads and making government more accessible," she says. Among her priorities as a Council member is ensuring safe roads and traffic conditions. When she took office, Cook pushed for the paving of Sicard Hollow Road and led a task force to solve a carpool safety concern in Liberty Park. She's also taking a role in projects to improve traffic conditions on Crosshaven and providing better and safer resident access on East Street. Cook also wants to engage more citizens in the process of moving the city forward. She hopes that the city's new communications specialist and the Vestavia Hills Listens portal, as well as a new Communications Committee, will help increase unity and community involvement. Head, who has lived in Vestavia Hills for most of his life, says he has always loved the city. "It was a wonderful place to grow up and also a great place to raise my kids," he says. While he has served in other areas, mostly in the youth sports programs as his kids began playing sports, he decided he "needed to serve the city in other areas as well," he says. Head's goals for his tenure on the City Council include "increasing the excellence throughout Vestavia Hills," he says. "We expect excellence in our schools, our leaders, and our kids. We should expect excellence in all areas." He views the implementation of the Community Spaces Plan as an opportunity to build excellence in the city's parks and recreation facilities. For those who don't know him personally, Head is "not political," he warns. "If you want to know what I think, just ask me." 2 0 1 7 v e s tav i a h i l l s l i v i n g 31

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