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Re-Election Announcement from March 18, 2020
Mayor Steve Holt Announces Plans for Reelection
Mayor Seeking Second Term is Committed to Continued Growth for Florence
FLORENCE, AL – Mayor Steve Holt announces he will seek a second term to serve the City of Florence with continued growth in economic and community development.
Mayor Holt, whose winning bid for office included plans to recruit and attract good-paying jobs to Florence, points to key growth in that area. Since Holt took office, Florence has issued 400 new business licenses, including over 200 home-based businesses, equating to 2,261 new jobs.
“When I took office on November 7, 2016, the unemployment rate in Florence was 7.3%,” said Mayor Holt. “Florence is currently at 2.8%, the lowest unemployment that research has recorded. In the next term, I intend to maintain and continue this momentum for jobs.”
“The success of our job market means we now need to locate additional land for more industrial growth,” said Mayor Holt. “With the help and support of our citizens, I will keep pursuing business investments from every category possible.”
Mayor Holt said potential new businesses are now offered a one-stop-shop program to make it easier than ever to invest in Florence. All services and departments are gathered under one roof for convenience, meaning investors no longer have to chase down answers by going to multiple offices to make inquires. Everything needed is made available to them in one room.
“When I ran for Mayor, I promised we were not going to wait for the phone to ring, and we haven’t,” said Holt. “We have relentlessly pursued business investments and jobs for Florence. We have called, visited and engaged with people to find solutions. We have focused on ways to make things possible – rather than the 49 reasons why it’s not possible. We have broken down barriers that made it difficult for those who wanted to help grow Florence.”
“I took a hard look at our assets, the projects that needed to be completed, the jobs that needed to be created, and made decisions that needed to be made for our city’s best interests,” said Holt.
Beyond job and business growth, other accomplishments under Mayor Holt’s first term of leadership include:
• Achievement as one of only nine cities to reach Platinum Status in the valley’s sustainable community program through TVA, and one of only two in the state
• Completion of the animal shelter with future plans to accommodate large animals
• Improvement of campuses and quality facilities for students, teachers, and staff, with continued emphasis on the educational and economic value of programs such as dual enrollment, as well as local partnerships with businesses and organizations which provide scholarships and internships, offering hands-on experience to students in one or more career fields
• Pursuit of bandwidth availability, expansion of wireless technology, and a fiber capacity that will enable Florence to compete with any community in the digital economy
• Increases in pay and new equipment for our first responders with further investment needed and expected, plus commitments to renovate each of the five fire stations over the next five years and complete renovation of the Florence Police Department over the next two years; renovation of Fire Station 1 has already been completed, along with the Florence Police Department’s lower floor
• Finished resurfacing on all level 10 streets and, beginning this year, the start of level 9 streets (where roads are ranked 1-10 with 10 being in need of the most attention), along with completion of the roundabout in East Florence and the paved connector between Sam’s Club and Target, as well as an emergency culvert at Darby Drive and Decatur Avenue, in addition to numerous other current and completed paving projects
• Recovery and establishment of “The Club Senior Center” as a permanent location
• Expansion of programs and opportunities across our musical heritage base
• Restoration of parks and playgrounds, including pavilions and picnic areas, with development and upgrades to sports programs and properties now available for UNA Women’s Softball, the disc golf course, tennis courts, sand volleyball, kayaking and other recreations
“Being Mayor of Florence is both an honor and a challenge,” said Holt. “I appreciate and take very seriously the vote of confidence my neighbors have placed in me. I recognize it’s important to serve everyone’s interests, and I endeavor to earn that trust daily.”
With over 49 years of experience in all aspects of economic and community development, including 22 years serving as President of the Shoals Chamber, Mayor Holt has long been an active leader in the city. Along with other Shoals officials, he secured funding for the Singing River Bridge, Highway 157, and Shoal Creek Bridge. More recently, working with a legislative delegation and Lauderdale County, Mayor Holt helped secure a grant to make it possible to six-lane Highway 72 from Indian Springs Road to the Shoal Creek Bridge area, potentially improving Florence traffic flow.
Mayor Holt is a graduate of the University of Tennessee, with a BS degree in Public Administration. He is also a graduate of the Economic Development Council and is a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD). Mayor Holt graduated from the United States Chamber of Commerce Institute for Organization Management at the University of Georgia and is a Certified Chamber Executive (CCE). He is one of only about 100 professionals in the United States to hold both certifications.
Mayor Holt and his wife, Susie, are the parents of five children and have ten grandchildren. They are members of First Baptist Church of Florence, where Mayor Holt serves as a Sunday School teacher.
“When you look around Florence, you can see the growth and hopefully feel the momentum,” said Holt. “The community outlook is positive right now, and we plan to keep it going!”