Community cooperation key to moving forward in Baldwin

Posted 3/4/21

Baldwin County is not only Alabama’s fastest growing county and the largest in the state geographically, it is also a collection of cities and towns with a variety of history and …

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Community cooperation key to moving forward in Baldwin

Posted

Baldwin County is not only Alabama’s fastest growing county and the largest in the state geographically, it is also a collection of cities and towns with a variety of history and populations.

While Baldwin County has more than 200,000 full-time residents, a number that is growing rapidly, it is unique among the more populous counties in that does not have a dominant city. Each municipality from the Gulf to the Eastern Shore to north Baldwin has its own needs, goals and challenges.

In the race for resources, funding and economic improvements it might not be a surprise to see all 14 cities and towns in heated competition. And while there is sometimes disagreement, it is encouraging to see how often communities instead work together.

At the Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce Eggs and Issues breakfast meeting in Daphne on Feb. 24, the mayors of Daphne, Fairhope and Spanish Fort discussed how they have been meeting almost weekly since taking office to find ways to work together.

At the Eastern Shore Metropolitan Planning Organization, representatives from those cities as well as Loxley, the county and state plan road development in areas of Baldwin. Those people working together were among those who have continued efforts to keep alive the prospects of a new Interstate 10 bridge over the Mobile River and expand the Bayway.

Many issues that face communities in Baldwin County don’t stop at the city limits. Silt washed from a development in one city keeps flowing downstream when it reaches the edge of town. A driver going from Fairhope to Mobile has to pass through Daphne and Spanish Fort.

A collection of communities also has a stronger voice in Montgomery or Washington than any one city. Economic developers looking for a place to build are more likely to be encouraged by cooperation and harmony at a local level.

Fairhope Mayor Sherry Sullivan expressed the sentiment last week.

“We’re going to find that we’re a lot more alike than not and anything that impacts one of us, impacts the others so it’s important for us to continue that relationship and to continue to work together just to make our communities the best they can be.”

Other leaders summed it up long before then.

United we stand, divided we fall.