Gov't

A Visit with Mac Watts

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This article was written by Jeanie Barnett for the March issue of Crystal Place Connections. Posted on CentralSpeaks.com with her permission. 

Mayor Mac Watts graciously took the time from his busy schedule to talk with me about his accomplishments in office as mayor and his vision for the future of Central. 
    The thing Mayor Watts is proudest of is the city finances.  The budget for the City of Central has been balanced since its incorporation.  Indeed it is projected that there will be nearly a $1 million surplus this year, despite the extra financial challenges in the aftermath of hurricanes, snows and a particularly devastating storm.
     He is also proud of the public/private partnership with CH2MHill. After investigation and deliberation and a national bid (request for proposal), they were chosen and now the city services are better than before the incorporation because of faster response, better quality of work and lower ultimate cost to the residents.
    Not only does the Mayor’s office get a daily job schedule from the DPW department so that he and executive assistant David Barrow can check on jobs, Billy Thompson is contracted by the city to follow up on these projects, creating a system of quality control and accountability.
     In keeping with the master plan, Mayor Watts envisions a City of Central free from urban sprawl, with a well defined town center including green spaces, perhaps a park in the center, and shopping to help keep our tax money here.  He is in favor of leaving vast green spaces, maintaining the country flavor we all now enjoy.  The plan includes opportunities for affordable (not to be confused with low income) housing.
     A self-professed “people person,” Watts enjoys mutually beneficial and amicable working relationships with the mayors of surrounding cities. Many projects have come about through his friendly cooperation with Senator Dale Erdey and Representatives Cliff Richardson and Bodi White.  Though they don’t agree on every issue, he has a good relationship with EBR president Kip Holden and together they have worked for the benefit of Central.
     “I am about Central!” he states.  “I eat, sleep and breathe Central.  This is not a job.  I’m working so that my kids and grandkids can enjoy Central just like I’m enjoying it.”

6 Comments

  1. Just Brenda

    February 24, 2010 at 9:22 pm

    And where could a person see “THE MASTER PLAN” and also “The paying for it plan”?

  2. Kelly

    February 26, 2010 at 11:49 am

    I have been keeping up with the city’s master plan development and attended several public hearings that the city has conducted over the past 3 years as a citizen. I believe it is our civic duty to educate ourselves in our country and our local governments. I attended the 3 days of community meetings about the Master Plan that were held at Central High School theater a while back where the public provided much input into the plan. I have also attended other meetings about the Master Plan that the city has provided to get public input. The Central City News has published numerous stories, articles, and maps of the Master Plan development.

    Maps and presentations of the Master Plan have always been placed on the city of Central’s website for the public to view. In fact, I just looked at a recent update on their webpage that showed a presentation from the Master Plan that was presented at a December 2009 council meeting.

    It’s not up to our city leaders to knock on every door in the city to tell people what is going on. It is up to us as citizens to be active, involved, and participate. I do, and I find this to be a wonderful process and very informative, and I thank our city leaders for allowing the public to participate and give input. Keep up the good work!

  3. Mac Watts

    February 27, 2010 at 9:11 am

    My prayers are with the Lieux family this morning. This city came together the past few months in praying for Kelsey. Now we must stand by her family and friends as they go through this difficult time.

    Mayor Mac Watts

  4. Just Brenda

    February 28, 2010 at 12:23 am

    Just Brenda- gets the buzz, when I uprooted my family last winter in the middle of a school year- to get to be able to support the school system here, and get involved in my children school and social life, Central was everything they promised it to be. We were welcome, Ms Guttery at bellingraft, went beyond the call of duty to help “our son” pass to the second grade, I then moved my teenage daughter here and low and behold every child came out of the woodworks, to our house for bbq and swimmng, we had age groups of 5 to 17 here daily. we didnt know these kids nor there history- there were strick house rules put down, but we welcomed all the children as our new friends. They are good kids, reminded me of my own blessed childhood of walking the subdivsion, feeling like we owned it- I took alot of picture and took them to this one placeI trusted, show them the kids who were knocking on my door everyday, busting the food budget- they were all good kids, good grade, played sports, some held jobs- so i was like good enough for me. Right after the election,,, everything changed, house raids, car counts, basically a headcount but with force? This upset me, cause I was like geese- arent we grandfather in? dont we have a time margin to build on to our homes, so i draw the blueprints to my home and just for fun a school that was designed to save our children life “IF a REAL EMERGENCY” should araise ( we learned the hard way- of our children dieing at school in ENTERPRISE AlAbama, due to a tornado, not to long ago. After the election- everything changed, people were mad about following zachary, This cause me to ask THEIR question- Are we following zackary? cause if that is the plan I need to sell now and move to our next choice of town Springfield- I wrote the paper, asking question, is this true???? no answer, I wrote again 3 time- no answers- I go to the paper and learn its a censor paper, I learn of zoneing meeting by a yellow sign hanging halfway in the trees??? We dont post zoning meeting in central news?? the answer was no- Because I wasnt scared to asked the question, I was finding myself in a group that was actually teaching me – that central in a union style city, since I am already a member of many group outside of central, I needed to now join a few group inside central, if I want to make a differance, cause I truely believe one person DOES make a differents, and my intent was well meaning- All I heard was clean house in this upcomming election? This SHOCKED me, I was thinking WHY?- heck we just got the budget for this program for these founding father, why would we kick the chair out from right under them NOW!!!! This I didnt understand and it concerned me, I got alot of reason why for the city of central people??? so I asked is this true??? I couldnt meet the mayor for the life of me, lord knows i tried, but his assistance Barrow was really nice, since i travel often and all the meeting are held when I have to pick and choose with is more important to me the election often takes a backburner ( not that is not just as important, its just I am working in a field more inline with my passion. I wanted the posting or zoning meeting to be made in black and white print in central paper- since I dont read the advocate. The only way this could happen was to write a daily paper, so I said FINE! I will write it. Lucky for me Centralspeaks did it… good cause I really don’t have the time to work it- I was mad a major watts, he knew I wanted a face to face meeting with him, and he showed me he really didnt give a flying loop, what I wanted- this also made me wonder, cause any time I call a city, state, offical I also get a return call within 72 hours- So my flags our really high now. I finally worked in a meeting last week- just so i could put a face to a name. Last week meeting was a EYE OPENER!!!! and i am so blessed I got to go- maybe didnt hear much BUT i saw alot!!! I met with one member for awhile, explained myself to him and finally got the “scoop” I know this memeber was being honest with me- Finally a honest man!!! This board has worked long hard hours making central a SOMEBODY instead of the nobody ebr treated them as, Now when they got the funding, all these people come out of NOWHERE wanting their hand on the money???? Where were yall when central was paying for the devolopment of perkins rowe, bluebonnet, ect… No~ it not that easy, these people EARNED their chair, it only been 4 years and look at the progress they have made in just four years, You think I am gonna just hand over our tax dollars to all these new kids of the ballot??? No I think, the one that cleaned up central fast, turned these schools around- I am sticking with them- all but maybe 1 big maybe 2. I think we need to show them we appreciated them putting central on the map and respected by our neighboring city. These people have done a outstanding job with our school and city plumbing, draining and to learn they hired inside of central- hell what more could a city want? Great job guys!!! The often misunderstood – just brenda
    PS- Sorry for the lost of the Lieux Family

    Good luck on the election- This will be my final Post, Got other things to do!

  5. Mac Watts

    March 3, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    I can be reached on my cell phone at 933-4976 anytime or by email at mac.watts@centralgov.com. Thank you.

  6. dave

    March 3, 2010 at 7:48 pm

    Due to a high volume spam attack from overseas, and only until a fix is installed this weekend, all comments will require moderator approval before they appear on the post. We will check comments every hour or so, so please do post. Things should be back to normal before Monday.

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