Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

Brookwood Mayor Faces Competitors on Aug. 28

Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

Brookwood Mayor Faces Competitors on Aug. 28

Article excerpt

The town of Brookwood has changed immensely since the town's mayor, Alton C. Hyche, was first elected in 1977. At the time, the tiny town of 500 people had just become incorporated.

Now, the town has about 2,300 residents living in the city limits and about 5,000 living inside the Brookwood police jurisdiction. Hyche, who served as mayor from 1977 to 1984 and then again from 1992 to the present, said he wants to continue serving as mayor so he can work to continue the town's growth.

Hyche will run for another term as Brookwood's mayor on Aug. 28 against two contenders, Duane Garner, owner of Dewey's BBQ and Grill, and Dawn House, a human resources director for the software development company, Planit Solutions.

Hyche points to the Brookwood Parkway, which now comes to a dead end at George Newell Road. In the next two years, as the new Brookwood High School is constructed, Hyche hopes to work with the county and state to see that road completed to Alabama Highway 216, making it quicker and safer for school buses to deliver kids to school, Hyche said.

In recent years, more Mercedes-Benz suppliers have come to the area, with one now under construction on Brookwood Parkway. Hyche said that the town needs to focus on doing whatever it can to attract more of those Mercedes suppliers into Brookwood, because it will draw more tax revenue, more jobs and more residents into the town. Ultimately, that means more businesses and services, he said.

"I'd like to see these suppliers adding onto our parkway," Hyche said. "We'd like to continue to diversify our tax base, because right now we are dependent on the mining and gas industry."

Hyche said that his decades of experience in office benefits his constituents.

"Hopefully, people realize I put my heart and soul into the town and area," Hyche said.

But some think that it's time for someone new in the mayoral seat. "We need some new blood (in that office), some new life in the town," said Garner, who previously served on the Brookwood town council from 2004-2008, has served as a volunteer firefighter with the Brookwood Fire Department since 1997 and now serves on the town's park board. …

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