The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Election 2012

August 26, 2012

Election 2012: Athens mayoral incumbent – Q&A with Ronnie Marks

News Courier: The city’s most recent financial audit was released last week in a special session. City leadership says the audit paints a positive financial picture. As mayor, what will you do to ensure the city remains on sound financial footing, despite continued economic uncertainties?

Ronnie Marks: One of the most critical charges that the mayor has is to present a balanced budget to the City Council for approval. Since 2004, the mayor, finance directors and department administrators have always taken the position to present a very conservative budget to the City Council for approval. 

We have not taken the position to “front load” any of the budgets with expenditures or capital requests that are not critical. Since 2004, the city of Athens has ended each fiscal year with revenues over expenditures. This allows the mayor and council to look at critical issues at year’s end. For example, in 2011, the general fund budget ended the fiscal year with a positive $1.1 million revenue versus expenses, before budget adjustments and critical capital appropriations. During this year, we appropriated an additional $500,000 to paving projects throughout the city. 

The current fiscal year, 2012 general fund budget is approximately $1 million revenues over expenditures. An increase in sales tax accounts for approximately $830,000 (split 50/50 with Athens City School system) and an increase in license and permits of approximately $140,000. Again, this will allow the mayor and City Council to allocate funds to critical issues at years end. 

In summary we do not pass budgets with “fluff,” and continue to examine several years of data prior to presenting any budget to the City Council. We will continue to follow this successful trend.

NC: The city and county have worked together to land new industries over the last two years, while providing an atmosphere that allows existing industries to expand. What specific plans do you have to keep Athens on the radar of any industry or business?

Marks: As mayor, we will continue the “team” approach atmosphere. The city of Athens, the Limestone County Commission, the Limestone County Economic Development, along with the state of Alabama Economic Development is very pro-industry and retail development. The city, county, economic development (state and local) recently landed Carpenter Technology to this area with a $500 million investment. Our team has been very involved in assisting Steelcase, Custom Polymers, Federal Mogul, Turner Medical and other retail establishments to locate to this area and we will continue to provide the workforce development and create incentives to attract jobs. Public safety and jobs are our highest priorities. 

Text Only
Election 2012


Do you believe America will ever make another manned flight to the moon or another planet?

     View Results
AP Video
Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee