The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

August 8, 2012

Election 2012: Athens City Council District 4 - Jim Hickman

The News Courier

— My name is Jim Hickman. In December 2010, I was appointed by the City Council

to serve the remaining term previously held by Ronnie Marks for District 4. 

For the past 19 months I have had the privilege to serve and to meet my constituents, listening to various needs and concerns throughout our city. It is apparent there is still work to be done in our neighborhoods. Paving streets, safer neighborhoods, and cleanup of abandoned properties are just a few.

An understanding of the financial position and budget process of the city along with the policies and procedures is critical. I am a retired accountant with years of financial experience.

Being retired, allows sufficient time to devote to the people of District 4 and the office of City Council. It is an honor to be active in our city government.

Here are some of the major accomplishments for which I voted and proudly support. We have seen new industry bring jobs to our area; additional acreage has been acquired expanding our Elm Industrial Park; major thoroughfares have been resurfaced with needed drainage improvements; excellent choices were made appointing a new police chief and fire chief by promoting from within; some of our long-term industrial neighbors (Steelcase and Turner Medical) have had major expansions creating new jobs; and we have committed to converting our fleets to clean-burning natural gas (CNG), reducing fuel costs and maintenance costs as well as being environmentally friendly. 

Through conferences presented by the Alabama League of Municipalities, I have earned the distinction of Certified Municipal Official (CMO). Those studies have made me better prepared to do the job that will help continue making Athens a progressive and growing city. City Council members and mayors from all over the state attend these conferences, and we have the opportunity to share accomplishments and discuss challenges that we face in the future.

Our school system stands among the best in the state of Alabama. We must maintain that high standard to assure the best educated graduates possible. We want to keep those young graduates at home and grow Athens. We must actively recruit new industries and employers that will pay good wages so these young families starting out can live, work and shop and keep our tax dollars in Athens.

Voting for me assures the citizens of District 4 continued experience and leadership for the future of Athens.