Linda Kennemur - Candidate Position Statement

Center Point Municipal Candidates

Position Statements

Linda Kennemur

Economic Development:

What should be Center Point’s top Economic Development priority?

Our priority is to seek out new businesses, using tax incentives if necessary. Also, we must maintain correspondence with existing businesses to meet their needs and foster relationships.

When it comes to Economic Development and growth, what are Center Point’s greatest challenges and greatest assets?

The city’s greatest challenges are empty shopping centers with absent property owners that are hard to get in touch with or do not want to spend money to bring their buildings up to code, so they can become rentable. The city’s greatest assets are relationships with our schools, Center Point Fire District & Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department. The city works very closely with each one.

How would you prioritize Center Point’s capital improvement needs?

We need to keep moving forward toward improving existing parks and work toward obtaining property on the northwest side for “pocket parks” that have playgrounds and pavilions with picnic tables. We also need to complete the Polly Reed Road project to cover the ditches with sidewalks.

The City and representatives from the Chamber of Commerce attend the International Conference of Shopping Centers annual convention each year as well as the regional ICSC meeting attended by the Chamber Economic Development Coordinator. These events are primarily recruiting venues for new businesses.  Both the City and the Chamber work closely with the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham to plan growth and development within the city.  The City of Center Point has also recently been named an Alabama Community of Excellence (ACE) which provides more grant opportunities for the City.  What other means would you employ to draw new businesses to our City?


We need to publicize the city’s accomplishments and awards to shine a positive image on our city.

The City has had a very, aggressive grant writing program over the years that has gained the City over $12 million in services, inventory, construction and programs.  While grants do not fund operating expenses, they do allow the City to offer special programs that are over and above what the budget allows.  Some examples of things grants have funded in the City include:  law enforcement equipment and training, three additions to the Senior Center (including the one currently being constructed) as well as programs for seniors, all of the sidewalks within the city limits, the splash pad, energy efficiency grant to bring down utility costs, boardwalk at the Reed-Harvey Park, a playground at the community center, etc. What types of innovative programs would you envision our community having that might be accessible through grant writing?

The city needs many more grants for “pocket parks” on the northwest side and sidewalks on the northwest side. The sidewalks are needed because this is where all four of our Center Point schools are located. We also need grants to obtain more equipment for our deputies to better serve our city with public safety.

Education:

Since our schools are a part of the Jefferson County School District, the City has limited input into their organization/structure. How can the City of Center Point best support the area schools in our city limits?

The city can keep increasing our budget that we have allowed for our schools. This fiscal year was in the amount of $143,000. This is divided between the four schools that are in our city limits by the number of students in each school.

Although our public library has an independent board, the city still supports the library financially.  What do you see as the city’s role as pertains to the library?

Our role is to put the funds that the library will need in the city’s budgets and make sure the schools are sending students to utilize the library’s resources.

Parks & Recreation:

Please name the existing services offered at each of the City’s parks that you are aware of and what services can be improved upon.

The sports complex that is located off Chalkville School Road offers our children football, cheerleading, baseball and softball at this location. We also have nice, clean concession stands.

Reed-Harvey Park has nice, updated playground equipment. You can also play in our new splash pad or fish in our lakes. The city holds a fishing rodeo once a year for the children on one day and senior citizens a couple of days later. We also have well-maintained walking trails and Movies in the Park on Friday nights. At this park, you will find the beautiful Veterans Memorial. This is also the location of the Seniors Center, where they offer Meals on Wheels, field trips, and drive-in bingo. They are also provided activities and games. I would like to see the Splash Pad expanded in the future. Across the street, you will find the city-owned Hillcrest Manor wedding venue. Here, the public can rent this facility for weddings, parties, banquets and more. This is also where the city hosts the annual Christmas Tree lighting.

The sports complex at the Jefferson County Courthouse annex features, a baseball field, soccer fields, tennis courts and walking trails. This is also where the annual National Night Out is hosted.

The new Center Point Community Center is making steady, positive progress. It offers fitness classes, a gymnasium for youth and adult basketball, pickle ball, volleyball, weight room, softball field and a youth summer camp.

Please state what additional recreational services you would like to see the City offer its residents.

I would like to see the completion of the Cherry Parmer Dog Park and “pocket parks” on the northwest side.

If you have visited the new Community Center, please give your impressions of the positives of this facility and what you would improve upon within current budgetary funding.

I just would like to see this new facility keep moving forward.

Public Works:

Are there any areas of PUBLIC property within the City limits of Center Point that need improvements? Where and what improvements would you implement?

City public works department works hard to keep the trash picked up. However, we need to employ more workers to cover a bigger area. The city’s horticulture department helps in keeping our city look nice and inviting with their landscaping skills.

Safety:

The US Department of Justice just completed a study of crime in the City of Center Point. The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department has provided updated information for 2019 as well as amended information from the DOJ data.   This study is available to read on the city’s website (http://www.thecityofcenterpoint.org/DOJ%20report%20with%20City%20of%20Center%20Point%20reponses.pdf ).  Please state which of the study’s recommendations you would implement first and why.

We need more presence of deputies and more interaction with our children to bond and make a long-lasting relationship. We must also make sure that we keep a good relationship and have good communication with our contract deputies on a daily basis. We also need to make sure that they have all the tools and equipment that they need to help them be as effective and professional as possible while performing their duties. The city needs to employ more deputies, as Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department hires and is willing to contract them out to us.

Funding and availability of law enforcement candidates are barriers to public safety in Center Point.  There is a national shortage of police academy candidates, primarily minority candidates as well as difficulty in retaining law enforcement officers once hired.  What would you do to attract additional competent officers/deputies to our City? For those who believe Center Point should have its own police department, how would you fund it (either using existing budgetary numbers or increased revenue from other sources)?

I feel we get a lot more for our money by contracting deputies from Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department. In addition to the contract deputies, there are many deputies who are assigned to control our city.

Senior Citizens:

Please list the programs that you are familiar with as pertains to the Senior Citizens Center.

This is where the seniors get to engage and participate in exercise class, a once-a-week dance, games and activities, field trips and a fishing rodeo once a year. The seniors are also provided with Meals on Wheels.

The Senior Center is currently being enlarged through a Community Development Block grant.  With this extra space, what additional programs would you like to see implemented?

Further activities can be implemented and improved with this new, updated facility. The Seniors Center is at capacity, and the new addition is much needed.

Candidate Information:

Please provide a short biography that will let people know a little about who you are and your connection to Center Point.

Linda Kennemur is 60 years old and has been married for 43 years to James Kennemur. They are both lifetime natives of Center Point, Alabama. Linda and James have one daughter Nicole, who is married to Marcus Thomas. They have three children - Caleb, Miles and Riley, who are a big part of their Nana’s life.

Linda is a Highly Qualified Paraprofessional in Special Education, and she has been employed for 23 years at Center Point Elementary. She also has served for the past 20 years as Chief Inspector of elections at precinct 4030 under the jurisdiction of Jefferson County Probate Judges.

Linda was elected to the Center Point City Council in 2004 and has remained on the council for 16 years. She is now campaigning for her 5th term on the council, where she is Chairman of Public Safety. This position gives her the resources she needs to advocate for the elderly and children.

Linda’s next community watch event will be the Human Trafficking Conference at Center Point Community Center Auditorium. The theme for this conference is ”NOT OUR CHILDREN”! Guest speakers will be the coordinator for the Child Trafficking Solutions Project in Jefferson County, the 911 Emergency Communications District, and a Human Trafficking specialist from ALEA (Alabama Law Enforcement Agency). The purpose of this meeting is to raise awareness and educate our citizens and encourage other communities to do the same.

She has completed bronze, silver and platinum education standards with the National League of Cities University. She also has 260 credits in classroom training with Alabama League of Municipalities.


Linda is especially passionate about the well-being of children and the elderly.

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