Roger Barlow - Candidate Position Statement

Center Point Municipal Candidates

Position Statements

Roger Barlow

Economic Development:

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

Our top priority should be to encourage shopping with our businesses in Center Point.  We need to continue to support our existing business community as we strive to acquire more businesses to locate in Center Point.

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

Our greatest challenge is to fill empty store fronts and our greatest assets are the business friendly attitudes of Council Members and the high volume of traffic that fills Center Point Parkway.

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

It is my opinion that we need to continue to expand our park recreation areas to give our children, and adults, the opportunity to take part in the related activities.

Also, very important is the Polly Reed Road Project.  This project has been delayed by ALDOT many times.  I would like to push to get this project completed.  It will provide for sidewalks along Polly Reed Road and fill in the ditches.

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?

I would use my forty plus years as a CPA and business contacts to encourage businesses to locate in Center Point.

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?

I would like to see more sidewalks for our Citizens.  I know we received Federal money several years ago for sidewalks and they are a great benefit to foot traffic.  It would be a goal of mine to expand that and get more sidewalks so our citizens don’t have to walk on the streets with the traffic.

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?

We can support them by attending the sporting events, funding special projects and supplementing payroll.  I would also like to see the City increase the annual financial support to the schools in Center Point, over and above the current level of $103,000.

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?

To provide funding and support for the board and library staff.

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 ballpark complex on Chalkville School Road - baseball, softball, football, concession stands.  The City continues to upgrade the quality of the playing fields and I would like to see more travel teams at the park.

Reed Harvey Park - Meals on wheels, senior games and exercise classes, field trips, movies in the park, splash pad, fishing rodeos for children and adults, playground equipment and Veterans Memorial wreath laying twice a year.  I would like to see more activities for the children at the lake and organized activities at the playground.

Hillcrest Manor - a venue for social gatherings, weddings, meeting, etc.

The sports complex at the Jefferson County Annex - baseball, tennis courts, soccer field, walking track.  I would like to have the concession stand open for participants and spectators when there is activity at one of the fields.

Community center - basketball and other sports, exercise, health and how-to classes, ballpark.  I would like to have a splash pad at the community center.

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

If property becomes available on the northwest side of the City I would like to see the City put in a playground and picnic areas for the citizens on that side of our City.

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.

The basketball court and work-out center have been a tremendous addition to the recreational activities available to our citizens, young and old.  I would like to see the instruction class offerings expanded.

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?

Our public works department does a wonderful job with grass cutting on the rights-of-way and trash pickup but they can only do so much with the current number of employees.  I would like to see the public works employee level increased to help with these activities throughout our City on a more regular basis.

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.

I would like for the deputies to have more of a presence in our residential areas and more involved in social personal contact with our citizens by having block parties, barbeques, or just meetings in the street.  This would help to increase the level of confidence the citizens have in our law enforcement staff.

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 would continue to maintain a good working relationship with the Sheriff to make certain that the deputies that are assigned to our contract are competent, professional, and have the experience needed to deal with citizens on a one-to-one level.

Senior Citizens:

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

Meals on wheels and senior citizen interactive game activities at the center and field trips.

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?

I would like for the center to increase the recreation/workout activities and interactive games for our senior citizens.

Candidate Information:

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

Upon marrying Shelley in 1988 I moved into Center Point and have lived here since then.  I am married, have 3 children, 8 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren.  I am one of ten children and graduated from University Of Central Florida in 1979.

I am a Certified Public Accountant, owning my own firm for over 30 years and still work as a CPA

Myself and Tom Henderson were members of the original incorporators of the City in 2002.  I have served as President of the City Council for 16 of the 18 years I have been on the City Council.

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