Riley: Stay picky
Published 3:22 pm Wednesday, October 11, 2006
By By Kerry Whipple Bean – publisher
Escambia County can afford to be picky when it comes to attracting new businesses, Gov. Bob Riley said Monday.
Riley, who was in town for campaign events Monday, praised the community for its quality of life.
In his lunch hour speech, Riley said Alabama has seen success over the past four years because of changes to the economic model the state had been following. He touted his choice of Neal Wade to lead the Alabama Development Office.
Riley said the state now gives more incentives to existing industries to help them expand and add jobs.
New models in education have also helped Alabama improve, Riley said. He touted the success of the Alabama Reading Initiative - a program that actually was in place before he became governor but that expanded to other schools during his tenure.
Improving the state's emergency management plan was also part of the governor's agenda, Riley said. He noted that the state learned a lot after Hurricane Ivan, and he also praised the leadership in the Brewton area after the 2004 storm, saying mayors Ted Jennings and Terry Clark and Sheriff Grover Smith “worked together to take care of everybody.”
Riley had a full day in Brewton Monday, taping an episode of “The Mayor and Mabry” for local cable and participating in a political rally that afternoon with state House candidate Alan Baker and state Senate candidate John McMillan. Baker and McMillan are running against incumbent Democrats Skippy White and Pat Lindsey, respectively.
Monday evening, Joe and Carol Gordy hosted a fundraising reception for Riley at their home in Brewton.