We need someone who understands that the business of Mobile is business.
The business of Mobile is not runaway spending, tax increases and an ever intrusive city government that tells you what color you can paint your house and whether you can fence in your yard.
We need Sandy Stimpson.
Stimpson, an executive with Scotch Gulf Lumber, has never held public office before, but his strong ties to the business community give him the financial and political base he needs to be a viable candidate to challenge Mayor Sam Jones.
“For the last year, year and half, I’ve gone around and listened to hear what’s going on. The more I’ve listened the more I’ve realized there is a need for someone to do something,” Stimpson said in a phone interview.
The lumber business has taken a hit since the housing bubble burst in 2007, but Stimpson’s company has managed to grow despite the recession, picking up a mill in Jackson in 2008 and a remanufacturing facility on the Causeway in 2008. In 2009 it merged with Scotch Lumber to form the present-day Scotch Gulf Lumber.
Stimpson said the company has gone from 105 employees in 2006 to almost 450 today.
During a period of time when most businesses are cutting back or holding off expansion plans, a company that provides construction materials during one of the worst stretches for that industry has been adding employees and creating jobs.
Over that same time period, city revenues have plummeted, costs have increased and instead of tightening belts and cutting spending, the sitting Mayor has proposed a 25% increase in sales taxes. He stubbornly sticks to that demand even in the face of commission studies showing that the tax increase isn’t necessary.
What that tax increase will do is choke off future development and send businesses fleeing out of the jurisdiction. We don’t need that.
We do need Sandy Stimpson.