Huntsville mayor Tommy Battle speaks at Troy Rotary Club

Published 3:00 am Thursday, July 27, 2017

Huntsville mayor and gubernatorial candidate Tommy Battle told members of the Troy Rotary Club Tuesday that being an Alabamian connects everyone in the state.

“It’s kind of amazing thing I see as I travel across the state, everywhere you go, you see somebody you know,” Battle said. “You see things that all connect us.

“When I came down here I was thinking about KW Recycling and how our kids have a huge contest to collect bottle caps. Whoever collects the most wins a prize from the PTA. Those 3 or 4 million bottle caps are brought down here to KW and they make them into paint cans. It reminds me of what we have in connection with everybody.

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“Right here, you’re putting together the THAAD missile while we’re designing some of them up north. We’re keeping those jobs in the state.”

Battle then spoke to the members about thinking outside of the box to come up with innovative solutions to continue pushing the community forward.

“We started ten years ago with strategy,” Battle said. “The end result was jobs; we were looking to provide more for the people in our area. What does that do for your community? It gives your community hope; something to latch onto.”

Battle said his son was the perfect example of why continuing to create job growth is so important.

“My son wanted to go to a ‘big city’ so he went to work in Birmingham, Knoxville and Chattanooga,” Battle said. “He worked hard for five years and then one day he calls me and says ‘Y’all have done pretty well there, I think I’m coming home.’ If you really want to know the reason that you work for jobs, it’s so that children have that opportunity to say ‘I’m coming home.’ Jobs give people a reason to come home.”

The inclusion of Troy University in the community only amplifies that need in Pike County, Battle said.

“You want students to come live in your community,” Battle said. “That’s growth. That helps expand your economy. You want them to have an opportunity here that is second to none. If you can do that, you have a successful community.”

Battle also spoke about the need to focus on improving infrastructure, education and quality of life to continue growing the community.

Lindsey Fox, this year’s Distinguished Young Woman of Pike County, also spoke to the club members about what it takes to be a distinguished young woman and what it really means.

“It’s not a beauty contest,” Fox said. “Distinguished Young Woman is a scholarship program broken down into four categories with the main goal to be your best self.

“The four categories of the competition are fitness, poise, interview and talent. A fifth component, a “Be your best self” essay contest, also factors into the judging.

Fox said the purpose of the four categories is to test the women’s community outreach, composure, skills and fitness.

“I highly recommend this program to any girls out there,” Fox said. “It teaches you confidence in so many walks of life. It also teaches you diction with being overly confident or pushy.”