2019 a year for growth, mayor says
In 2019, Mayor Jayme Stayton used the words “bigger” and “growth” to describe his goals for the city, particularly for events and other items of business that began in 2018.
“The first year of me being mayor was learning, trying to figure out what was the best way to approach things and how to get things here, how to reach out to people and speak with them and get them to understand and see the vision that I see,” he said. “A lot of the citizens of Daleville have the same vision.”
He said that, though he continued learning in 2018, he was able to see some of his “vision” come to life.
“In 2018, once I learned (the systems in place), we started having these events,” he said. “Of course, the first one is always the hardest. So, in 2019, this is just going to come naturally. Every event that we have is going to run smoothly and be more relaxing than worrying.
“In 2019, it will be good to see some growth.”
The Daleville Family Fun Fest, which was a first-time event last year, is expected to be even bigger this year, according to Stayton.
“This Daleville Family Fun Fest is going to be bigger because we’re going to have concerts,” Stayton said. “In January, we’re going to start kicking it off and really advertise for Daleville.”
He said the event will also offer event-goers bigger rides and more to do for a range of ages, including younger children.
Another first-time event, the Fall Festival, brought businesses, churches and other organizations together to provide games and treats for families.
Stayton said planners for the fall festival are already planning to make this event bigger as well.
“It was great,” he said. “We had a good turnout there, so they’ve already decided that they’re going to have more stuff, so that will make that event bigger.”
The Inter-Tribal Native American Pow Wow returned to Daleville after a several-year absence. Stayton said this event will also come back bigger and better.
“It’s going to be bigger than it was,” he said, stating the event offers visitors a unique experience. “What’s good about the Pow Wow and what people need to understand is, there are no Native American restaurants. When are you going to get to try actual, handmade Native American food, unless you go to a reservation somewhere? This is your chance to come out and try it.
“It’s a chance for (people) to come out and try some different culture.”
Though it was held in April 2018, it will return to the City of Daleville in November for National Native American Heritage Month.
Two annual city events already saw growth in 2018: Spartan Fest and the city’s annual Christmas Parade.
“It’s always good,” Stayton said of Spartan Fest. “(Last year), we did a tournament. It’s going to be a little bit different this year; it’s going to be bigger. Not too much bigger, but it’s going to be great.”
He also predicts this Christmas parade will grow even more in 2019.
In addition to growth for events and entertainment opportunities for citizens, Stayton said he hopes to see growth in economic development for the city.
“There are businesses that have their eye on Daleville that I feel that (they could come) in 2019,” he said. “You never want to say something is going to happen and it doesn’t happen, but they are looking our way.”
He also said he is continuing to work on bringing an industry to the city.
“I’m still working hard on industry,” he said. “I want jobs here. I want something like the old Tri-Glass to come back.”
He said other, larger cities do affect how industries look at Daleville.
“(Nearby cities) have a lot going, and they don’t have to continuously call and just about beg somebody to come take a look at their city,” he said. “Daleville, you have to fight for it. You have to be persistent.”
He said he believes his persistence to try to bring in new companies has “paid off.”
“They want to know our (information),” Stayton said about promoting the city to industries. “As long as I continue to fight for Daleville, I think that, in the end, it’s going to work out for Daleville. It’s just taking some time.
“My campaign slogan was ‘Bring the Life Back to Daleville,’ and I feel like I’m doing that. We do have things now that we didn’t have before, as far as entertainment and stuff. I’m working very hard on industry, other retail places and other fast food places.”
Of course, he has help with his efforts. He thanked City Code Enforcement Officer Wayne Stripling, who he called “an asset,” for his help in bringing the current changes and businesses to the city.
In addition to seeing events for citizens grow, Stayton said there are several projects that are expected to be completed in 2019 which will make the city better.
One project that Stayton said is a priority this year is infrastructure.
“All the roads need to be paved,” he said. “Some of our drainage issues, we need to get our drain issues under control. It’s not all over the city; it’s just certain places.
“I want to make sure all that’s done.”
He said he also hopes citizens continue to help bring attention to safety issues around the city, such as the need for speed bumps in neighborhoods and around schools.
Another major project in the works for the city is a concession stand project at Culpepper Park.
“We just now got on the same page with that where we think we all can agree on what’s the best route to go with the concession stand,” Stayton said. “We’re working on that now. Everybody’s got some good ideas, so we got together and we brainstormed on it. We’ve got a plan of action for that.
“After that concession stand is done, I believe that will be it for Culpepper Park.”
Stayton said he also hopes to see more city beautification efforts as well.
“Culpepper Park is coming to a close,” he said. “We’ll be finished with that project, so we can move forward on working on the strip (between Bojangles and the Fort Rucker gate).
“Me and the council would like to get some green spaces down there. I believe it will start in 2019. We’re working on some grants to try to see if there’s any money out there to help make that (area) look better. I believe that it should look a lot better than it does out there.”
Adding green spaces and starting a sidewalk project on Daleville Avenue were topics that were briefly discussed during work sessions throughout 2017.
Stayton said that maintenance and beautification of “the strip” also includes the buildings along Daleville Avenue.
“Our problem is that some of the business owners don’t own the building, and the people that do own the building don’t live in Daleville or anywhere around Daleville,” he said, stating he plans to try to reach out to those absentee building owners and hopes to try to start a citywide cleaning day.
One major way Stayton also hopes to see growth in the city is with citizen participation in government.
“I would like more citizens to come to our council meetings,” he said. “You’ll know what’s going on. If you have any issues about something that’s going on in the city, you’ll be informed.
“People want to know what’s going on, and the best way to know is to just come, be there and interact with us. I think people would enjoy it, to know how city government works.”
Stayton said he hopes to see more citizen participation in other areas in the city, particularly with city boards.
The city's boards are the Board of Adjustments, the Daleville Redevelopment Authority, the Industrial Development Board and the City Tree Board.
“I hope (citizens) get more involved with the boards,” he said. “We have several boards in the city that have vacancies.”
He said each board is important to the city to make decisions and move forward.
“To some people, they may not think much about it, but these boards are important,” he said. “If the city wants to do something, these boards kind of have a say so in certain things, like the planning commission.
“Some of these boards haven’t been active because we haven’t had anybody to activate them.”
Contact Daleville City Hall for information on joining city boards.
He said the start of a new year is a great time to get involved with the city.
“It’s a new year,” he said. “Great things are going to happen this year for the City of Daleville, so I think people should get more involved.”
He also urged the continuation of volunteering for the city.
“In 2018, our citizens and even people from the surrounding communities, they came out for disaster relief for the hurricanes – and before you know it, hurricane season will be right back on us,” he said. “They volunteered for festivals, and people who didn’t come volunteer, they made cakes for the cake walks and things like that.
“I encourage people to volunteer for any city function that we have because I’m working hard and the council’s working hard, but when the citizens are on board for stuff, it makes it easier.
“We do it as a community; we do it as a whole.”