I led Mike to one of my favorite former bankers and my very favorite mayor, David O’Mary. I took Mike to Mayor O’Mary’s re-election campaign kick-off held at Pinnacle Bank in Downtown Jasper. After that, we went to city hall and sat down with the mayor and Jasper’s Chief Financial Officer and Jasper Main Street Board Member Kathy Chambless for a treat and some talk.
Jasper Main Street is almost 5 years old, and I’ve been around for 2 of those years. I’ve met several mayors throughout the state, but Mayor O’Mary is the only mayor I’ve ever known in Jasper, and I’ll have to say, He’s a keeper! Not only has he led our city from $1.4M in reserves to today’s $7.1M, but he also took care of the 195 employees with five pay raises since he became mayor in 2016.
While fiscal responsibility is the cornerstone of his administration and campaign, Mayor O’Mary also believes in something close to my heart: the humane treatment of animals. When the mayor took office, Jasper’s animal shelter was missing its mark for saving abandoned animals, and he tried to solve the problem locally but eventually sought assistance from the Greater Birmingham Humane Society who now flawlessly runs the day-to-day operations. Instrumental in this endeavor were Susie Vann and Dee O’Mary, who along with Carol Downs, represent the Walker County Humane Society. You’ll remember that they and Linda Lewis, Chamber of Commerce Director, sponsor the annual Pets on Parade event held at Gamble Park, where I debuted as Mistress of Ceremonies in 2019.
Born at People’s Hospital which was once in Downtown Jasper, David lived in Eldridge and eventually moved to Winfield where he graduated from high school. Upon graduation, he was accepted at the University of Alabama where he majored in finance and after four years was awarded a Bachelor in Science in Finance. Mike first met David at Synovus, where he spent 38 years eventually becoming an Executive Vice-President, since my office is housed in the bank.
I think most employees of the city will tell you that morale is at a high point now. Kathy Chambless, CPA and CFO for the city, and employee with the most seniority at 35 years will tell you with that kind voice of hers that she doesn’t remember when morale was this high. She and the mayor have an obvious symbiotic relationship when it comes to running this city in a fiscally responsible manner. Kathy is clearly looking forward to four more years of working with Mayor O’Mary. They will both tell you that the previous four years have been about managing for the present, and the next four years will be about managing for the future. In his efforts to run a transparent administration, please go to https://jaspercity.com/ to see his weekly recorded-live address to the citizens.
I’m very thankful for the chains that bind Jasper Main Street and the City of Jasper. When Mike sleeps at night, so do I.
Everyone can read about Jasper Main Street's accomplishments and future goals in the 2020 Case for Support entitled Continuing to Flourish: Vision 2020. Let me know if you want to stop by and pick one up, or I'll trot one to you or to the post office.
#jaspermainstreet #flourishwithus #pawtographslaterdahling
P.S. By the way, Mike finally paid Lisa Killingsworth that $20 for the Christmas ornament (see my last article). Too bad it took my calling him out in the paper and online to get that Andrew Jackson out of his hand and into hers.