By Gary Lloyd
CLAY — Clay Mayor Charles Webster said last week that he’s had an “enjoyable” first year as the city’s mayor.
“It’s been enjoyable for me,” he said. “I’ve enjoyed this year.”
Webster’s goals entering the role this time a year ago included implementing a more frugal city government by using a budget, cut the city’s debt and promote the Clay area to potential businesses.
“I think we’re in good shape, a lot better shape than we were in,” said Webster, who served four years on the Clay City Council before his election as mayor.
The first year in office has been a busy one for Webster. The city has raised its sales tax two cents, approved a 2013-2014 fiscal budget and hired more Jefferson County sheriff’s deputies to patrol the city. Resurfacing Old Springville Road from the southern city limits to the Jefferson County line was also listed among many Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program projects. The local match is $184,000 while ATRIP will cover $736,000 for a total of $920,000 for the project. Webster, however, now believes the city match may be closer to $500,000.
Webster said the city is going through its 2013 audit now, and the company performing it has said it’s one of the “easiest” it’s ever done.
Webster said the plan is to continue annexing nearby unincorporated areas to expand and define the city’s borders. It could eventually lead to Clay having its own ZIP code.
“I enjoy working with people and I enjoy this little community,” Webster said. “My goal is to make it better.”
Contact Gary Lloyd at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.