Vestavia Hills Living

2018

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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2 0 1 8 v e s tav i a h i l l s l i v i n g 21 S A R A W U S K A Served as mayor: 1984-1988 ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Sara Wuska holds the distinction of being Vestavia Hills' first and only female mayor (so far). Her tenure was "a period of expanding boundaries, increasing population and declining revenue," she says. A sewer moratorium had been lifted, leading to an increase in homebuilding and residential revenues. But the city's once- premier shopping center was folding, sandwiched between new malls in nearby Homewood and Hoover. Wuska began searching for a state statute that might allow tax abatements to entice business, and with the help of a local female attorney, she found it. "Eventually three business districts and a toehold for future shops joined the city," she says. "Importantly, a gateway opened for future business annexations." In addition to forging a path for economic development, Wuska's administration launched the volunteer transportation service for senior citizens, which still operates in the city. She also developed a plan for neighborhood piping to protect existing neighborhoods from being flooded by runoff water from new construction, a plan that has benefited numerous neighborhoods over the years. Wuska also formed the Clean Community and Recycling Committee, which opened a recycling station and recruited volunteers of all ages to pick up litter on the streets and in public areas. Many individuals and groups adopted designated streets and public locations to keep clean. REFLECTIONS: "In retrospect, I am astounded as I recognize the surge of citizens that volunteered in so many facets of community life," Wuska says. "In some endeavors, all that was necessary was to point the appointed leader or citizen with an idea in the right direction." The Historical Society, Senior Citizens Association, Men's Garden Club, Beautification Board, scout troops and local churches were all involved in meeting needs, serving on committees, undertaking special projects and feasibility studies, and enriching community life, she says. As a leader, Wuska says she maintained an open door policy and required hard work from everyone around her. "If I am remembered, I hope it is as one who felt privileged to serve her fellow citizens, to work with them, to know more of them and who gave the office her best," Wuska says. In addition to forging a path for economic development, Wuska's administration launched the volunteer transportation service for senior citizens, which still operates in the city. She also developed a plan for neighborhood piping to protect existing neighborhoods from being flooded by runoff water from new construction, a plan that has benefited numerous neighborhoods over the years. Sara Wuska

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