Johnson holds open forum

By Toni Stauffer

Councilwoman Vickey Johnson held a District 2 open forum on June 18 at 4:30 p.m., before 6 p.m. council meeting. While torrential rain may have kept the crowd down, at least a dozen people did show. Johnson said she holds meetings for the chance to listen to District 2 residents and identify their areas of concerns, as well as to inform and update citizens on district progress and projects. She uses the opportunity to ask citizens for community involvement and discuss sharing responsibilities. 

She took a moment to discuss the importance of the upcoming census and the financial status of the city, which as of December of last year has 125 days of operating reserves and a AA-/Stable credit rating, according to Standard and Poor’s as of September 2018. Industrial projects for 2018-19 have brought in an estimated $51, 275,000 in revenue and 254 jobs. Tax revenue is up seven percent, March being the highest collected on record in Phenix City history. The record has been broken four times since September 2018. 

Johnson briefly discussed new businesses in the city and said everything is on schedule for current developments. She said the city wants to bring in more full-service dining restaurants. Residents expressed concerns about a couple of motels in the area, one which is possibly operating under a franchise name when it is no longer affiliated, and both being host to alleged illicit activities. The city clerk took notes on all comments and concerns. 

Johnson also requested that residents keep an eye out for vandalism. The Old Dixie Youth Field bathrooms were vandalized and the city is seeing vandalism all over.