Thursday, November 20, 2008
On this day:

Huntsville's new mayor hopes to pig out at the federal trough


Mayor Tommy Battle spent the first two weeks of his administration focusing on who his department heads may be and the shape of city finances, and conferring with aides over budget priorities.

He's now setting his sights on Washington.

Today and Tuesday, he will be meeting with key leaders over pending BRAC job transfers to Huntsville and a possible economic stimulus package crucial to cities.

"Our itinerary is to make contact with each of our (Alabama) congressmen and their staffs and have some discussions about what Huntsville can look for from the federal government with the new transition coming," Battle said last week.

Battle's chief of staff, Trent Willis, said a major goal is to forge strong relationships with top leaders, including congressmen from surrounding states and chairs of powerful committees and subcommittees.

Battle said he's particularly interested in learning about legislation on Capitol Hill that could help states and cities weather the economic crisis.

"There's talk in this Congress of finishing up the session by putting out a large infrastructure stimulus package. We want to be ready for that," Battle said.

Not surprising but not encouraging.