By Adam Smith

The North Jefferson News

As they’ve done many times before on issues involving city business, the Fultondale City Council formed a united front in qualifying for city elections.

Mayor Jim Lowery and council members Joe Bolton, Billy Howell, Darrell Hubbert, Tommy Loden and Greg Morris were all present at city hall at 8 a.m. on Tuesday to pay their respective $50 qualifying fees and fill out the necessary paperwork to have their names on the Aug. 26 ballot. Tuesday was the first day of the two-week qualifying period.

As city clerk Jane Hicks explained instructions on how to fill out paperwork, the prospective candidates shared anecdotes and highlights about their previous terms.

Lowery thanked the council members for what they have accomplished during the previous term while also giving thanks to previous mayors and councils.

He also voiced his support for the council, saying he would vote for each one of them.

“I support each one of you; we’re running as a group,” Lowery said. “I’d say the one thing that’s made us as successful as we are is the unity of this council.”

Councilman Tommy Loden, the council veteran of 24 years, echoed Lowery’s statements and said the council was all singing out of the same hymn book. “One man could upset the apple cart and we haven’t had that,” he said.

Councilman Darrell Hubbert, who has served on the council for 10 years, said one factor that keeps the council united is the fact that the council does not have wards or districts and run at large.

“It takes the politics out of it,” Hubbert said. “We all like each other and we get along.”

Only Howell is still the relative newcomer, having been appointed in 2004 to take the place of councilman W.J. Alexander who died after being re-elected. “We’ve got a good thing going and I’ve enjoyed it,” Howell said.

In the previous term, the Fultondale CIty Council accomplished several tasks that have impacted the city, including a 92 percent approval on a referendum to move the city’s elementary school and park complex to make way for the Colonial Promenade shopping center.

Councilman Greg Morris, who Lowery has given credit to luring in much of the city’s economic growth, said the council remains focused on city’s future growth.

“I thank all these guys for believing we could pull this off, even though I knew we could,” Morris said. “Dorothy just had to click her heels more than three times.”

Bolton said he hoped the city would continue to focus on public safety and quality of life issues, in addition to economic development. “If you’re not moving forward, you’re going backward,” he said.

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