South Huntsville Civic Association

south Huntsville News

South Huntsville Civic Association
serving our community since 2009
Come One, Come All to 
ValleyFest, Spring 2014 
Saturday, May 10th, 10 AM - 7 PM
Jones Farm Park on 4 Mile Post Road


What's happening at ValleyFest?

Everything we could think of that falls under the category of, "fun," is what's happening!


  •           80 arts, crafts and business vendors will display and sell items 
  •            3 staging areas will host bands throughout the day! 
American Lane                              Seminole Strut                              The Deltones
  Mike Ball & the Madison Mountaintop Band                        Josh & Judy Allison  

Our third staging area will offer exhibits and demonstrations by our friends from the

Rennaissance Faire!


  • Come Hungry! Food vendors will keep your tummy happy: 

Badd Newz BBQ will offer, of course, barbeque!

Earth and Stone Woodfired Pizza

Crave Heat with Tex-Mex

Damont Hewlett with Cajun boiled crawfish, sausage, chicken etc.

Meaux's Snoballs

Bigfoot's Little Donuts

Piper & Leaf with homemade iced tea

Iceworks Shaved Ice with fresh squeezed lemonade

Brain Freeze with ice cream




  •  Several ValleyFest sponsors are offering free drawings! 

- Bentley Hyundai has donated a flat screen T.V.

- Soohoo and Associates with Cruise One will be giving away travel sets

- South Huntsville Living will hold a drawing for an 18x24 canvas art print

- John Blue Realty will hold many door prize drawings at the Lendon Tent.

(We hope to hear from more businesses before you get our next email!)


  •     You're bound to smile! In addition to stage performances, the park will be sprinkled with fun!  

- Mickey, Minnie and Sponge Bob will join us, courtesy of Soohoo and Associates with CruiseOne.

- The TN Valley Ukulele Club will perform and invites you to join in.

- Artist, Chandler Hayes will create his unique style of graffiti art throughout the day.

- The Young Marines will be painting faces and coloring hair with hairspray.

- Not only will crawfish be there for eating, but they'll compete in crawfish races!

- Soccer Shots will provide interactive soccer demonstrations.


  •  Two contests will be held during ValleyFest 
SHCA is sponsoring The Art of Motherhood Photo Contest
and fundraiser. This contest is open to all. Prizes include one week in a SeaScape condo in Destin, FL and a one night stay at the Westin Huntsville. More information is included at the end of this email.


Lendon is sponsoring a Fine Art Contest which is open to college students who are entered by their professors. These artists, competing for cash prizes, will be set up in the park completing their entries during ValleyFest.

ValleyFest Sponsors

Bailey Cove Eyecare

AL Representative John Merrill

Soohoo & Associates with Cruise One

Republican Women of Huntsville

Madison County Young Republicans


Produced and hosted by SHCA, 

ValleyFest, Spring 2014 is sponsored by:


South Huntsville Living
Tax Issue Update 12-17-2013

South Huntsville Civic Association 

Independent Advocates for south Huntsville since 2009

Serving the greater north Alabama community since 2012

visit SHCA on Facebook for regular updates

The Sales Tax Saga Continues


At last night's Town Hall meeting, SHCA suggested the city's budget priorities are unbalanced and cited the example of $500,000 per year designated for downtown "streetscape" vs. $300,000 for the entire remainder of the city to share for "sidewalk repair". . .

Mayor Battle, "Construction is more expensive downtown because there are more trees in the way."

SHCA, "So, you're telling us that there are more trees downtown than there are in south Huntsville?"

Mayor Battle, "Yes."


Dear SHCA Members and Friends,



Last night Councilman Kling held a sparsely attended town hall meeting. In fact, there were more city officials present than there were private citizens. This gave us the opportunity for substantial discussion pertaining to the tax increase proposal.


For the first half of the meeting, citizens asked questions pertaining to the possible inclusion of a sunset provision. The mayor's response was that such a provision should not exist because after the stipulated 7 road projects are completed, the city has identified another $1.5 BILLION (yes, with a "B") worth of road projects which are also urgent. Failing to complete any of these projects would be "devastating" to the city of Huntsville. If a sunset provision were included, the city's ability to negotiate with the state for future road funds could be hampered.  Additionally, the city council has the ability to "sunset," any item at any time. In other words, this administration should impose a permanent tax and a future administration could vote to decrease the tax.Lingering questions: If this administration commits the city to $1.5 BILLION worth of expenditures, how would it be possible for a future administration to remove the tax increase which pays for those expenditures? Why is the mayor now assuming that Huntsville citizens who will continue to pay taxes to the state of AL for road construction wish to now pay 150% of road construction costs forever into the future?


We questioned the wisdom of the proposed expenditure of an estimated 20% - 30% of the increased tax revenue on "capital needs and industrial incentives." If the city truly feels our roads are placing the city in such a dire circumstance, and costs are now projected to reach into the billions, shouldn't 100% of the additional tax money be spent on roads? We were told the mayor expects to find additional sources for road funding in the future such as toll roads.

Lingering questions: If it is expected that new sources of funding will be found in the future, why would it be disastrous to sunset this tax increase? Would a toll road not be yet another tax lumped onto the one currently proposed which is not 100% allocated for roads?


The topic of cutting the budget in order to cover at least part of the road costs was discussed next. We were again told that there are NO places where the budget could be cut. We specifically asked about items such as the $500k per year designated for downtown streetscape and the $3.1 million spent on decorative bricks for Washington Street. We were told that those items are necessities for Huntsville citizen's "quality of life." Mayor Battle stated that citizens would prefer to maintain this quality of life and pay a higher tax. 

Lingering question: Which citizens were polled and expressed a preference for higher taxes to line downtown streets with brick pavers?


When pressed further, the mayor reminded us that the brick paver project was actually put into place by a former administration ten years ago. 

Remember, the city council can sunset ANY ITEM at ANY TIME. Therefore, the current administration chose to move forward with the $3.1 million dollar expenditure on decorative bricks while knowing that the city needed funding for over $1.5 Billion in "urgent" road projects which are essential to the survival of Huntsville. 

Lingering question: If the city council can sunset any item at any time, why did the mayor insinuate that his administration is not responsible for the $3.1 million brick paver project which is currently underway?


After the meeting we learned that Councilman Russell has written an amendment to the tax proposal which stipulates a sunset after five years. We believe he could have the council votes to get this approved. This provision would permit the city to pay the additional 50% for the widely agreed upon 7 state roads to be improved, still provide the mayor with $25 - $50 million extra for spending, and automatically end the tax increase after five years. If the mayor and city council in office at the end of that period feel it is needed at that time, we can have this discussion again with that administration and consider renewing the tax.



-          The current city administration has now identified over $1.5 BILLION of additional urgent road projects over the next 15-20 years for our city with a population of 180,000 residents.

-          Mayor Battle feels that all current city spending is necessary and that a sunset provision for the tax increase would be, "disastrous."

-          Councilman Russell has written and will propose a 5 year sunset provision for the tax increase which will permit our future elected representatives to determine tax rates during their administration.

-          The Huntsville City Council is expected to vote on this issue Thursday, December 18th.



If you would like to express your opinion to your city council representative prior to the vote, time and opportunity is about to expire.



-   Councilman Showers will hold a town hall on Tuesday, December 17th, 6 pm at the Showers Center.


-   An anti-tax rally has been announced by Huntsville Conservative News and will be held in the Chambers of Huntsville City Hall (first floor), Thursday, Dec 19 prior to the city council meeting.


-  If you would like to contact your representatives:


District 1 - Richard Showers, Sr. 256-427-5011

District 2/President- Mark Russell 256-427-5011

District 3 - John Olshefski 256-427-5011


District 4 - Bill Kling, Jr. 256-427-5011

District 5 - Will Culver 256-427-5011


Mayor Tommy Battle - 256-427-5000


As always, please feel free to forward or reply to this email with comments, suggestions or requests. SHCA wants to hear from you as we continue to promote our community and to seek good government for citizens of north Alabama!


SHCA Board of Directors,
Jeannee C. Gannuch, President
David Pinkleton, Vice President

Tax Issue Update 12-15-2013

South Huntsville Civic Association 

Independent Advocates for south Huntsville since 2009

Serving the greater north Alabama community since 2012

Huntsville Sales Tax Increase Update

The SHCA Board of Directors extends our warm wishes to you this Christmas season.


 We apologize for this unfortunate intrusion, but must address issues in the time frame prescribed by our mayor.



SHCA continues to monitor the status of Mayor Tommy Battle's proposed sales tax increase for the city of Huntsville. We attended last week's work session and the city council is expected to vote on the mayor's proposal this week.


We've learned that the additional tax money to be collected is NOT all designated for road improvements as previously implied. Of the $30-$35 million collected per year, only $ 
25 million is designated for road projects. 
20% - 30% of the increased tax revenue will be spent on "industrial incentives and capital needs" at the will of the city council.


Speakers in favor of the tax increase included the County Chamber of Commerce, Charley Burruss from the Committee of 100 (former chairman of the Huntsville Housing Authority,) and Walt Hennessee (candidate for district 3 city council.) 
The highlight of the pro-tax comments came from Mr. Howell Lee, Government Affairs Liaison for the Huntsville / Madison County Home Builders Association. During his address to our city council representatives he stated, "You need to vote for what is good for this city and not what the people in your district want." Appalling. We are blessed to have a representative form of government and take great umbrage to this request that our elected representatives should deny the will of the people at the request of influential business groups. 

Elbert Peters, Anson Knowles, David Pinkleton, Gary Brashers and Jackie Reed were among those who spoke in opposition to the Mayor's proposal. Each speaker favored budget cuts and / or the inclusion of a sunset provision along with the stipulation that 100% of the increased revenue be spent on state road projects which has been the publicized reason for the tax increase. Spending this money on city roads or other projects would result in a back door increase to the city's discretionary funds by way of shifting current expenditures.

Please keep in mind that our current 8% sales tax is divided among the city, county and state. Any or all of these three government entities can seek increases separately. It is possible that both the county and the state could also seek increases in coming years.


Summarization of the sales tax increase proposal:

  • Huntsville sales tax will be increased by one cent from 8% to 9%.
  • The tax increase will reflect a 12.5% increase to consumers from what we currently pay.
  • The tax increase will reflect an increase of 28.6% to the city's sales tax revenue.
  • The tax increase will generate $30 - $35 million per year.
  • $25 million of the revenues generated will be spent on road projects. All money above $25 million will be spent on "capital projects" or "industrial incentives," at the will of the city council.
  • The tax increase will exist in perpetuity with no sunset after designated projects are completed in 5 years.
Considerations for amendments to the current proposal:
  • If the mayor's proposal is amended with a 5 year sunset provision, $25 - $50 million more than is needed for the 7 "urgent" road projects will still be collected and spent on undisclosed projects.
  • If the mayor's proposal is amended with an automatic sunset after the collection of $125 million, the "urgent" road projects will be covered within approximately 4 years and no additional money will be collected for the purpose of undisclosed spending. 
  • An amendment which would force sunset of the tax increase after 4.25 years would allow collection of sufficient funds to pay for the designated road improvements.


The city council is expected to vote on this issue Thursday, December 19th.  


Currently the vote count appears to be:


Yes: Wil Culver and John Olshefski 
Likely Yes if there is a revision which includes a sunset provision: Mark Russell 
Possible Yes with changes to construction timeline: Richard Showers 
Unknown: Bill Kling



Organizations which have endorsed the Mayor's proposal with no amendments:


Huntsville Times

Committee of 100

Huntsville-Madison County Chamber of Commerce

Huntsville Area Association of Realtors

Huntsville Madison County Builders Association

Huntsville South


Councilman Kling will hold a town hall this Monday, December 16th , 7 pm at the library, room A.

Councilman Showers will hold a town hall on Tuesday, December 17th, 6 pm at the Showers Center.


An anti-tax rally has been announced by Huntsville Conservative News and will be held in the Chambers of Huntsville City Hall (first floor), Thursday, Dec 19 prior to the city council meeting.


If you would like to contact your representatives:


District 1 - Richard Showers, Sr. 256-427-5011

District 2/President- Mark Russell 256-427-5011

District 3 - John Olshefski 256-427-5011


District 4 - Bill Kling, Jr. 256-427-5011

District 5 - Will Culver 256-427-5011


Mayor Tommy Battle - 256-427-5000


As always, we appreciate your support and invite your reply to this email. SHCA exists solely for the purpose of serving our community and our neighbors through civic involvement. We depend upon your input as we proceed with matters of importance to residents of the Tennessee Valley. 
If you would like to contact us, you may reply to this email or contact us at .


SHCA Board of Directors,
Jeannee C. Gannuch, President
David Pinkleton, Vice President

News Letter 12-10-2013

South Huntsville Civic Association 

Independent Advocates for south Huntsville since 2009

Serving the greater north Alabama community since 2012

visit SHCA on Facebook for regular updates

Huntsville Sales Tax Increase Alert

There is little doubt that Mayor Battle's one cent sales  tax increase will be passed by the Huntsville City Council. Information and views being expressed by city leaders and the local media present the tax increase as a necessity. What follows is a presentation of the facts, with a more conservative perspective.

Dear SHCA Members and Friends,

While you've been busy preparing for Christmas and figuring out how you're going to cover increased health care costs, Mayor Tommy Battle has been formulating a sales tax increase for the city of Huntsville which he proposed at the City Council meeting last Thursday night. This Thursday, December 12th the proposal will be discussed in a council work session at 7 PM in the council chambers at City Hall. The vote is expected to take place one week later on December 19th.


SHCA leaders attended last Thursday's meeting after which, we believe that Mayor Battle's desire to raise Huntsville's sales tax by a full cent will be approved by the Huntsville city council. The most likely "no" vote might come from Councilman Showers who had little to say about the issue. It is likely that he's considering the fact that sales taxes are regressive and would have the greatest impact on middle and lower income families. Councilman Kling expressed interest in seeking other options for revenue but gave no indication that he would vote no if none are found. Councilman Olshefski said, "I just don't see any other way," and expounded upon his own long drive time to work. Councilman Culver figuratively salivated over the opportunity to vote yes on this to get "more money," as well as mentioning that he would also like to look at raising property taxes, "more indepthly." Councilman Russell was not present.


The mayor's proposal is that the Huntsville City Council increase sales tax by one cent which translates into a 12.5% increase to consumers from what we currently pay. The state, county and city each receive a portion of our total (current) 8% sales tax. The city's current portion is 3.5 cents. The one cent increase to 4.5 cents would increase the city's sales tax revenue by 28.6%. This is projected to generate $30 - $35 million per year. The tax will exist in perpetuity.


The stated purpose for the proposal is that of covering 50% of the cost of improvement to 7 state of AL roads within the city. The 50% amounts to a cost of $125 million. There are no specific projects designated for allocation of the excess tax revenue beyond the 4 - 4.5 years it would take to cover the cost of these roads. The proposed sales tax increase has no sunset, which means that after the designated projects are completed we will keep paying the increased tax rate. The additional 28.6% revenue will be spent at the discretion of the city council.


The case laid out for the increase is primarily based on the desire to keep Huntsville's commute time at 18 minutes. We were told that this is a consideration when large corporations locate in a city and Huntsville could be "permanently damaged" if the city does not act now.  The mayor stated in an email release, "If we want to retain our high quality of life, grow our position as a regional economic center and keep our average 18-minute daily commute to work, we must address our roads." The negative impact of increased sales tax on small businesses has not been mentioned.


State of Alabama officials have been lambasted because of this year's decision to delay the 7 road projects in question. While Huntsville did receive funding for other priority roads, delay on these 7 is a result the state's conservative commitment to no tax increases.he city was informed that the projects are now to be funded by the state in ten years when they can be financed with existing funds.


We've been reminded of various cuts Mayor Battle has made to the city budget and told that there is no additional room for cuts. Budget items and expenditures such as the $500,000 per year designated for "downtown streetscape," the new pedestrian bridge on which construction will begin this week in downtown Huntsville, the$3,100,000 Huntsville tax-payer dollars being spent on brick paved sidewalks on Washington Street in downtown Huntsville, and the ongoing discussions about building a new stadium in downtown Huntsville have not been mentioned as examples of potential cuts.


If approved, this is a remarkable gift from Huntsville citizens to the state of AL. We've paid our state taxes and will continue to do so. The state has committed to fund our road improvements, but our mayor is offering to have Huntsville citizens pay 50% of the cost. What a deal for the state! As for Huntsville citizens, sorry. That 50% comes out of your pocket . . . again. The issue is not whether the roads will be improved, but WHEN the roads will be improved. Mayor Battle apparently feels that having the construction done over the next 5 years rather than in the next 10 years is worth $125,000,000 + a permanent tax increase to Huntsville citizens.


This expensive, tax inspiring road emergency is somewhat reminiscent of the fuel crisis which led the city to cut back trash collection from twice per week to once per week. Then, citizens were understanding of the need to conserve fuel and little objection was raised. Now, many are in agreement that road improvements are needed. After the fuel crisis was over, the city has continued to collect the same amount of taxes and provide half of the previous service. Now, our council will raise our sales tax permanently in order to pay for a "crisis" road situation, while citizens will continue paying the tax long after the road crisis is over. Public opinion is easily manipulated when a "crisis" exists which leads to long term taxation with little objection.


We have to wonder whether this dire road emergency is all about commute time or perhaps has something to do with a desire to get "more money" into city government coffers. Politicians elected in a conservative district know that raising taxes is not a good way to get re-elected. On the other hand, rescuing the city from certain death and destruction imposed by villains at the state level just might bump your approval ratings and get you "more money" to spend too! Are you scared for the everlasting future of Huntsville if these 7 roadways are not improved 5 years earlier than the state has agreed to do the work? Are you scared enough to pay for them, and then pay for them again, and again and again, and again? Whatever you answer, it might not matter. Our city council REPRESENTATIVES will make this decision. Some might vote according to the will of the people they are paid to represent. Others will vote in a paternalistic manner believing they know what is best for those who put them in office. Which way will your representative go? Call or email him, then find out in two weeks when votes are cast.



District 1 - Richard Showers, Sr. 256-427-5011

District 2/President- Mark Russell 256-427-5011

District 3 - John Olshefski 256-427-5011


District 4 - Bill Kling, Jr. 256-427-5011

District 5 - Will Culver 256-427-5011


Mayor Tommy Battle - 256-427-5000


From a political perspective, this is a perfect time for our city council to approve a tax increase with little fear of voter retribution.

Two of our councilmen (Culver and Showers,) and our mayor are not up for re-election for another 3 years.

John Olshefski is not seeking re-election.

It is expected that Mark Russell will have no challenger for his seat in the 2014 election.

Bill Kling is the lone member of the council to be in a precarious position. He is also the only member known to be seeking tax alternatives. 



SHCA Board of Directors,
Jeannee C. Gannuch, President
David Pinkleton, Vice President

News Letter 10-15-2013

South Huntsville Civic Association

Independent Advocates for south Huntsville since 2009

Serving the greater north Alabama community since 2012
SHCA on facebook

ValleyFest, 2013

We are very thankful for your outpouring of support and participation for ValleyFest, 2013 which took place Saturday in Jones Farm Park. The spirit and vitality of our community was evident through the happy faces of 4,000 to 5,000 people who joined us for an afternoon of live entertainment, arts, crafts, food, festivities and hot air balloon rides!


The support for SHCA and for ValleyFest, 2013 from our members and neighbors is greatly appreciated. We also offer sincere gratitude to our generous contributors, Lendon of John Blue Realty, Representative Mike Ball, and South Huntsville Living. Finally, the top-notch vendors who supported our community festival added greatly to an over-the-top atmosphere of fun. This type of coming together to make great things happen is one quality which makes south Huntsville shine!

If you would like to see more photos from ValleyFest, please visit the SHCA website Event Photos by clicking here and the South Huntsville Living ValleyFest page by clicking here.



Photo at right courtesy of Ernie Blue      
Huntsville City Schools Building Plans
If you would like to view a slide collection with information pertaining to new facilities planned for Whitesburg P-8, Grissom, Huntsville Freshman Academy, Milton Frank, MLK and the new north Huntsville High School, which was presented at the October 3rd School Board meeting, please click
and then click the link provided for,
 Huntsville City Schools Facilities Update:
We would normally have provided you with a direct link, but the file is too big!
Thanks to Dr. Robinson for providing this information.



 News Letter 10-6-2013

South Huntsville Civic Association


Independent Advocates for south Huntsville since 2009
Serving the greater north Alabama community since 2012
Valley Fest, 2013
Arts & Crafts


Arts, Crafts and Exhibits!


ValleyFest has registered vendors of outstanding items! 




  • Wood working
  • Handmade Jewelry 
  • Yarn Spinning
  • Handmade Quilts
  • Handmade Wreaths
  • Handmade children's clothing
  • Original oil paintings
  • Metal works
  • Face Painting
  • Sand Art 
  • Hand carved, briar pipes from Denmark
  • Original, hand crafted items from Africa
  • Homemade treats such as cupcakes and cotton candy
  • Locally produced honey
  • Kid's activities and giveaways
  • Locally grown and brewed tea
  • Handmade scarves
  • Graffiti Art sales

And much more!



Artists and Crafters, if you are able to provide your own set-up, we will be accepting booth applications until Wednesday, October 9th.Please reply to this email or contact us atsouthhsv@southcivic.comfor more information.


Join Our Mailing List

Free parking will be at the Lendon site and accessed by Somerby Rd, off of Carl T. Jones.




Come hungry!


With offerings ranging from homemade cupcakes and cotton candy to bar-b-q, pizza, ice cream and Italian Ice, you won't leave hungry!



SHCA is proud to host the most exciting celebration of our community in many years! 


With the help of our generous sponsors, John Blue Realty
and South Huntsville Living, we have assembled an afternoon filled with live entertainment, arts, crafts, exhibits, great food and hot air balloon rides!  


Please join us from 11 AM - 6 PM in Jones Farm Park on Saturday, October 12th. 


Admission is free and free parking is available at the Lendonsite, adjacent to the park.


Jones Farm Park is in Jones Valley on 4 Mile Post Rd, near the Carmike Theater (formerly the Rave.) 


See Huntsville From a Grander View in our 

Hot Air Balloon!


To celebrate the beauty of our community, ValleyFest, 2013 presents Hot Air Balloon, Tethered Rides in Jones Farm Park!

A tethered hot air balloon ride refers to a balloon that is secured to the ground by several points and allowed to rise up to 100 feet above the ground. (Weather determining)


Rides usually last about 5 minutes per lift. The basket holds 1 pilot and approximately 4 passengers depending upon weight.


Thanks to the generosity of our sponsor, the balloon rides are affordable for families! Balloon rides will be available for $10 for your first two family members and $5 for additional members of your immediate family.

This price structure is intended to better serve families with teens. This is a big thrill for a small price!


Timing is everything! Due to the upredictability of winds, tethered balloon ride passes will be available for purchase 15 minutes prior to launch at the Balloon Site. This attraction will function on a first-come, first-serve basis, so be sure to keep in mind that we hope to provide rides for up to 100 people, weather permitting!




11 AM - 1 PM, Jazz Music from                                   Devere Pride and                                 Peter Harrison 
1 PM - 3 PM,
Violin and Trumpet soloist, David Bond



1 PM - 3 PM Dance performances by AYB and Art in                                  Motion, and demonstrations by Alexander's   Martial Arts


3 PM - 5 PM   
Bluegrass Music from 
Mike Ball and the 


5 PM - 6 PM More solo performances and dance                 performances


11:30 AM - 5:30 PM
Gather around, for we have been graced by a juggling duo, here to demonstrate their fabulous routines!



11:00 AM - 6:00 PM - Well known graffiti artist, Chandler Hayes will be demonstrating the creation of a mega-sized mural, live during the festival! Hayes' work features elevated graffiti art, a style of urban art that offers his unique perspective of Huntsville landscapes.



Seeking Volunteers!


Please reply to this email if you are willing to donate a small amount of time to the operation of ValleyFest. We are in need of:

2 parking lot attendants (from either 10:30 AM - noon or noon - 1:30 PM,) 

2 people to sell canned sodas from either 2 PM - 4 PM or 4 PM-6 PM

2 people to handle balloon ride passes from 3:45-5:45.  




SHCA Board of Directors,
Jeannee C Gannuch, President
David Pinkleton, Vice President

News Letter 9-20-2013

South Huntsville Civic Association

Independent Advocates for south Huntsville since 2009


Serving the greater north Alabama community since 2012

Dear SHCA Members and Friends,

The Association greatly appreciates your support and invites you to reply to this email or contact us at .

Please join us on   Facebook  for more frequent updates and discussion.
We are very happy to bring the following great events to our community!


Town Hall Forum with Congressman Mo Brooks





Please join us this Monday, September 23rd, for our Town Hall Forum with Congressman Mo Brooks!


This is our opportunity to communicate with our U.S. Representative and to learn what is REALLY happening in Washington D.C. As always, the Congressman looks forward to communicating directly with citizens.


We're also thrilled to welcome the 

U.S. Army Materiel Command Band which will be performing before the forum, from 6pm-6:45 during our Representatives Reception!


 The reception is free, and is a great opportunity to meet and have brief discussions with Congressman Brooks, each of our AL State Representatives and members of the SHCA Board of Directors! 
State Senators Paul Sanford and Clay Scofield and State Representatives Mike Ball, Jim Patterson and Howard Sanderford have confirmed attendance. Several others are likely to join us!


Food will be provided by Kathy's Catering, Nothing Bundt Cakes, and Alan Markell Investments.

Location: Grissom High School Auditorium

Date: Monday, September 23rd
Time: Reception 6 PM Town Hall Forum 7 PM 

We hope to see you there!


          ValleyFest, 2013

 Jones Farm Park will be the site of ValleyFest on Saturday, October 12, 2013! 

ValleyFest will offer residents across the TN Valley area an afternoon filled with fine arts, crafts, exhibits, live music and food!

Join us from 11 AM - 6 PM for a family friendly afternoon in Huntsville's most scenic valley! We will have an exciting line up of live music including Mike Ball and the Madison Mountaintop Band!
HOT AIR BALLOON rides will be available from 4 PM until 6 PM! 
Admission is FREE and free parking will be available adjacent to the park at Lendon! 
For vendor or sponsorship details, please contact SHCA at .

ValleyFest is sponsored by South Huntsville Civic Association, Lendon of John Blue Realty and South Huntsville Living.

Photograph of Jones Farm Park courtesy of Mr. Bob Blankenship.



SHCA Board of Directors
Jeannee C. Gannuch, President
David Pinkleton, Vice President

News Letter 8-27-2013

outh Huntsville Civic Association
Independent Advocates for south Huntsville since 2009


Serving the greater north Alabama community since 2012

Dear SHCA Members and Friends,

The Association has had a busy year to date and continues to serve as the local, conservative advocate for good government and responsible community development. We greatly appreciate your support and invite you to contact us with issues of concern to north Alabama residents.

Please join us on  Facebook for more frequent updates and discussion.

If you would like to support the efforts of SHCA through a monetary donation, please visit our website in order to use Paypal or mail a check to:
PO Box 12271
Huntsville AL 35815
Congressman Mo Brooks and SHCA will Host a September 23rd Town Hall Forum

Please join us on Septmeber 23rd for our annual Town Hall Forum with Congressman Mo Brooks. This is our opportunity to learn what is REALLY happening in Washington D.C. As always, the congressman looks forward to communicating directly with citizens. Questions are always welcomed during our Town Halls!

Prior to the 7 pm Forum, we will host a reception in the lobby of the auditorium at 6pm. This is a great opportunity for one-on-one discussion with Congressman Brooks as well as several AL State Representatives who will be in attendance.

More information will be provided as the date draws closer!

Congressman Brooks Town Hall Forum
Monday, September 23, 2013, 7 pm
Grissom High School Auditorium
Representatives Reception
Monday, September 23, 2013, 6 pm
Lobby of Grissom High School Auditorium

Please note that this is a free, informational event. Political campaign literature is not welcomed by SHCA.

Shared Article

 Our partner website, South Huntsville Living, recently published an article pertaining to the recent construction in Jones Valley. In case you missed it, we've included the article here for your convenience. It is always a pleasure to bring good news about our community!

What is Happening in Jones Valley?
by: South Huntsville Living Editor 

When you purchase a home, you're not only buying a house, you're investing in a neighborhood . . . in a community where you will watch your children grow up and then enjoy the freedom of your retirement years. What makes a neighborhood a good place to live? Most of us would agree on a few factors which exist throughout the south Huntsville community: green space, good schools, well-kept houses or apartment buildings, short commute times and a place for children to play safely. A movie theater and shopping nearby are also valuable additions. After receiving many inquiries regarding the current construction in Jones Valley, South Huntsville Living has done some investigating and we are ecstatic to find that we are on the verge of having a neighborhood worthy of national recognition! Located near the center of the south Huntsville community, we expect that Lendon will bring such recognition to Huntsville. 

Nothing has a greater potential for impacting our lives than the place we live. As Baby Boomers age and young professionals seek change, expectations for housing are also changing. Neighborhoods in south Huntsville certainly meet the criteria for very good neighborhoods, but what exactly is it that makes a neighborhood great . . . so great that it is among the most desirable in the nation? 

In addition to the factors that exist in all good neighborhoods, rich architecture and walkability are factors that create a unique sense of place and a "great" neighborhood. Walkability is a term that refers to an atmosphere created through design. Contributing factors include a neighborhood with definable boundaries, a center, and a pedestrian design with buildings closer to the street and parking lots relegated to areas out of sight. With this layout in place, parks and public spaces are then created in order to offer many choices in places for people to gather and play. The array of buildings is designed with mixed uses (residential / retail / service,) which serve a mixed income population sufficient for local business to flourish.

The design of Lendon is similar to that of historic neighborhoods, where homes, shops, businesses, parks, and other services are all within a short walk. A community center with overnight guest accommodations will be located at the heart of the 68 acre neighborhood and small playgrounds and parks are situated throughout. Lendon's shopping district will line a charming canal with boutiques, stores, services, and multiple restaurants. Each exuding classic Southern architecture and charm, a variety of home sizes and styles are integrated for the accommodation of people from young professionals to empty nesters. Each custom home will be reminiscent of one of four historic architectural themes which define the community. Live-work units also offer an option for shop owners who prefer no commute. Street landscape, sidewalks and front porches create avenues that encourage walking, biking, and neighbor interaction. Unimposing service alleys are used for parking area access and refuse container storage. Each of these finely tuned attributes works with the others to form the unique lifestyle of Lendon - a community where you can live, shop, work and play.

Our level of excitement for the coming of Lendon stems from both the plans which its developers, John D. Blue and Peter Lowe have shared and the known quality of the past work of these same gentlemen who also worked together in the development of Jones Valley Estates. Mr. Blue and his family have been actively involved in the growth and development of Huntsville and Madison County for over three generations. Blue, a resident of south Huntsville, was the developer and creative mind behind Huntsville's most prestigious neighborhood, The Ledges. Peter Lowe has been involved in the real estate investment business for over 40 years, focusing primarily on the Huntsville/Madison County market. Mr. Lowe holds the MAI designation through the American Institute of Real Estate Appraisers. 

It has been widely noted that residents of south Huntsville rarely choose to leave our community. Having become accustomed to convenience, stunning vistas, great schools and safe neighborhoods, we now have another great option for new neighbors and for relocation within our own borders. With home sales already underway, we offer a warm welcome to our new neighbors who have recently purchased a home in Lendon. Welcome to south Huntsville living!
Politicizing Our Schools


     Last week it was brought to the attention of the SHCA Board of Directors that political advocacy literature was distributed by teachers in the Huntsville City School system at the direction of administration. The topic of the two page, color ad was that of the Common Core curriculum. 


     SHCA has not become involved in the raging political debate over Common Core, but we believe the distribution of any political lobbying materials through the public school system has crossed a line. Teachers, who may or may not agree with the politics being promoted, should not be directed to distribute lobbying material while at work where they are paid by public funds. Additionally, school children should not be utilized as a conduit for delivery of political lobbying materials.


     While it appears that this action was not a direct violation of law, we encourage the State Board of Education and the Alabama State Legislature to take action which will protect the integrity of our schools in the future. According to an article issued from the Huntsville Timestoday, it appears that this political lobbying is being supported by the Board of Education as well as the main stream media.


     For your convenience, we have included below a copy of the flyer in question. The inclusion of this flyer is solely for the purpose of providing you with full information of the topic at hand. SHCA neither endorses nor validates the opinions expressed in any statements made within the literature below.


Type caption text here.


We have chosen to share the "open letter" below which was provided by Mr. Anson Knowles in order to better illustrate our reasons for concern with this issue. Again, SHCA has refrained from participating in the Common Core debate. The information below is provided to further explain the events which have taken place in regards to the distribution of political materials. 


We will also point out that the decision to distribute these flyers was not made by Dr. Robinson. She was contacted for information as Mr. Knowles school board representative.




News Letter 7-31-2013

South Huntsville Civic Association
Independent Advocates for south Huntsville since 2009
Serving the greater north Alabama community since 2012
HHA / HUD Update

If you would like to learn more about the issues below or others with which SHCA is working, several of our board members will be having a cup of coffee at Panera Bread this Friday, August 2nd and at The Coffee Tree on Bailey Cove next Tuesday, August 6th from 6 to 9pm. We'd love to have you stop by at your convenience and chat for a few minutes!

If you would like more frequent updates from SHCA, join us on FaceBook!


HHA Returns to south Huntsville


With the new state law in place which requires public notification prior to the purchase of public housing properties, we have become aware that the Huntsville Housing Authority has returned to south Huntsville. Again, we thank our state legislators for working closely with SHCA on the passage of SB205. Through the required notification we have learned that it is the intention of the HHA to purchase another building on Mahogany Row. This will add 4 additional public housing units to their stock on that street. 


Mahogany Row is a perfect example of the fate of neighborhoods into which public housing is deposited. Four years ago, the HHA purchased 3 buildings out of the 26 which are located on that isolated street, giving them a total of 12 units. Within one year, the owners of other buildings reported substantially decreasing rent in order to fill vacancies. Within two years, three of the surrounding buildings went into foreclosure. One building fell into abject disrepair with broken windows, kicked in doors and walls busted out to the extent that we could step through them from one room to the next. Another building was nearly burned to the ground. Keep in mind, these were not the buildings owned by the HHA but the privately owned, neighboring buildings which had lost their value since the introduction of public housing. The HHA buildings have been consistently well-maintained. 


As a community, we are now faced with a conundrum. We have a choice of fighting to stop the HHA purchase of another building or we may choose to be thankful that this building will be renovated and well-maintained. To be frank, our hopes for restoring reasonable property values on that somewhat isolated street are gone. While SHCA does have some resources which might discourage the sale, it is our considered opinion that doing so would not be productive. In other words, our situation has become one of choosing between low-rent buildings, many which are already accepting Section 8 vouchers, owned by individuals who may or may not choose to maintain the properties or low-rent buildings adequately maintained by the government. The current nature of the street will not be greatly altered either way.


The SHCA Board of Directors will continue to research and monitor this situation.


HUD Utilizing a New Data Base to "Enforce Fair Housing"


American citizens who live in cities which choose to accept money from HUD are on the brink of one of the most massive social engineering projects in the history of our nation. Fair Housing Law, which was created to prohibit discrimination against individuals within protected classes is now being mis-used to force a liberal social agenda. Fair Housing Law rightly prohibits property owners, lending institutions and sales agents from discriminating against individuals based upon race, gender, age, religion, familial status and disability in the sale, rent or financing of housing. SHCA absolutely supports this law. Fair Housing Law does NOT include low-income individuals as a protected class. In short, the law permits any person the opportunity to live where they choose among the options that they can afford. The new, liberal agenda seeks to equate low-income individuals with other protected classes. In order to be in compliance, local governments will be expected to provide affordable housing options within all neighborhoods which do not already have acceptable levels of diversity. Neighborhood developers will also be pressured to include low-income options in new developments.


"For the first time ever, HUD is providing data for every neighborhood in the nation, detailing what access African American families, and other members of protected classes, have to the community assets - including jobs, schools and transit." 


"With this data . . .  we can expand access to high opportunity neighborhoods and draw attention to investment possibilities in underserved communities."


- quotes above from Shaun Donovan, Secretary of HUD


Created through the use of census data, the map utilized to show racial diversity within neighborhoods will use color coded dots. Local governments which do not have what is deemed to be proper dot distribution will be denied HUD funds for those agencies which depend on those funds.


Investors News Article

News Max article


SB205 Under Attack


SHCA worked with AL state Senators and House Representatives for almost three years in order to get this legislation passed and eventually signed into law by Governor Bentley. SB205 requires that neighbors be notified prior to any HHA property purchase. It is solely because of this law that we became aware of the HHA's intent to purchase another property on Mahogany Row last Thursday. 


SB205 has been under attack both before and after it was passed. HHA Executive Director, Michael Lundy, personally lobbied our representatives and travelled to Montgomery to lobby others to kill the bill. Fortunately his efforts were unsuccessful. After the bill was signed into law, a coalition including the HHA, Huntsville downtown interest groups, and city of Huntsville elected officials (including our own councilmen,) chose to "request an opinion from HUD," on what they suggested were conflicts between SB205 and federal Fair Housing Law. The HUD reply was inconclusive and did not provide ammunition for use in overturning the law through our court system. We hoped this would be the end of the attacks. Instead, it appears as though the HHA has engaged in trying to build "evidence" that SB205 is interfering with their ability to "further Fair Housing." We have also been informed that HUD Washington called the AL State Senate 2 weeks ago requesting recordings of transcripts related to the bill.


In compliance with the new law, HHA has notified the public of its interest in various properties the agency was considering for purchase over the past year. Oddly, the majority of the properties in which they've expressed interest have either been located in small communities where one might assume citizens would object or in areas they have previously over-targeted which also results in public objection. Once such objections arise, the HHA states that they were "unable to obtain the property," and negotiations end. It is our opinion that the south Huntsville community is expected to raise high objection to another Mahogany Row purchase. SHCA leadership is strongly discouraging such public demonstration. Even if taken out of context, anything we say can and will be used against . . .


Letter of Advisement


Friends, this situation is one more example of why SHCA is a PAC registered with the state of AL. It seems that we are being reminded daily that elections have consequences. You were provided with each of the three items above in order to illustrate the unfortunate predicament in which we find our community. We must now enter the business of choosing the path of least damage until we have another opportunity to go to the voting polls.


How will south Huntsville, or any other middle / upper income neighborhood in  Huntsville survive the threat with which our property values are now faced?


1. With advanced notification of potential purchases, we must choose our battles wisely. SHCA has objected to the introduction of public housing into our community based on the negative impact it is known to have on neighboring property values. We must remain focused on this purpose. In 2009, we objected to ALL HHA purchases which were made within our community. Both Stone Manor and Mahogany Row were new public housing locations where property values were bound to be diminished. Unfortunately, we did not have a prior notification law at that time, and our objections were only after the fact. Since that time, property values have suffered. Objecting to the additional purchase on Mahogany Row would amount to a matter of principal rather than a matter of economic impact. We are now forced to keep our attention on the larger picture. The purchase of another building on this now devalued, but somewhat isolated street, will not have a great impact upon our community, but the breach of yet another neighborhood would. We are asking for your support and opinions as we navigate these difficult decisions which should be thrust upon no community.


2. We must do all we can to maintain our right to be notified of public housing purchases through SB205. There will be a substantial amount of balderdash surrounding the potential Mahogany Row Purchase. With little to nothing to gain for the sake of our community, such political grand-standing should be taken with a grain of salt and rhetoric kept to a minimum. Councilman Olshefski, the Huntsville Housing Authority and Huntsville South (a new group which has curiously chosen a name similar to our organization,) have united to hold an invitation-only meeting to discuss this purchase. Due to the potential for litigation against the state of AL pertaining to SB205, the SHCA President has declined her invitation to participate. The SHCA Board communicates regularly with our AL state and federal representatives as well as HUD in Washington DC. We are well educated on both public housing issues and fair housing law, and do not require a sales pitch on the matter. We sincerely hope that statements which may be made at this meeting are not construed to reflect community opposition to compliance with federal fair housing law, as this would be inaccurate and not bode well for SB205.


As always, if you have additional questions or comments on any of these issues, please feel free to reply to this email. 




SHCA Board of Directors,

Jeannee C. Gannuch, President

David Pinkleton, Vice President

News Letter 5-7-2013

South Huntsville Civic A

Spring, 2013
On May 27th we will celebrate Memorial Day in honor of our Veterans.


"Let no vandalism of avarice or neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations, that we have forgotten, as a people, the cost of a free and                                                                                undivided Republic."


                                                                           John A. Logan 


South Huntsville Living

I am pleased to announce that south Huntsville now has a website for the enjoyment of current residents and for introducing our community to those considering either a visit or a relocation to Huntsville. 
South Huntsville Living was created as a private endeavor which will support our citizens, merchants and property values. While there is still some work to be done, this seems to be a good time to launch. Please visit the site soon and fall in love with south Huntsville all over again! 


Jeannee C. Gannuch



Helping Neighbors

Food Drive 

to benefit

The CARE Center



Sponsored by: South Huntsville Civic Association


When:  Saturday, May 11th,  9:00 am - Noon


Where:  Bailey Cove side of the Star Market parking lot


Donations are tax-deductible.


As part of an expanded vision for SHCA, we were recently contacted by The Care Center. With cooperation from Star Market, SHCA is pleased to support this non-profit organization due to its emphasis on leading those who are depending on help to becoming self-sufficient members of society. Over half of the children in the area they serve are living below poverty level.


The CARE Center seeks to impact southeastern Madison County by reducing poverty through education initiatives, employment resources, recovery programs, and emergency services. We will help to restock their food pantry and to fill "Bags of Blessings" which are a discrete weekend food security program for elementary school children.


Items requested: Peanut Butter & Jelly, mac and cheese, canned corn and other veggies, cereal, canned fruit, canned soups, spaghetti and sauce, shampoo, deodorant, dish soap and laundry detergent. All donations will directly impact a child and a family. Monetary donations are also appreciated with checks made payable to The CARE Center. 


David Andrews


Call for Councilman's Resignation

As previously announced, SHCA has called for the resignation of Councilman John Olshefski due to the conflict of interest created by his acceptance of an executive position with Huntsville Utilities.

The councilman has not responded.


Complaints have been filed with the Alabama Ethics Commission by members of the community who are not on the SHCA Board of Directors. The commission did not have a meeting scheduled for May, so we expect a decision to be rendered when they meet on June 1st.


Please reply to this email if you are a resident of district 3 and you would like to express an opinion on the matter.


SHCA Board of Directors
Relocation of Grissom High School

As we stated in January, the relocation of Grissom High School was a "done deal." The school board

has now voted and the school will be relocated to property located behind Sam's Club off of National Blvd. With little response on the matter from               members of the community, the SHCA Board of Directors chose to take                   no position on the relocation.


It does appear that the current Grissom site will be well-utilized if currently proposed plans are ultimately financed. The proposed plans include:

  • A new library (new construction replacing existing buildings,) will be located on this property.
  • The existing I Pod (newest building) will remain and become occupied by the south precinct of HPD.
  • The auditorium, gym, sports facilities and fields will also remain for community productions and sports.

The area surrounding the new Grissom facility (expected construction behind Sam's Club,) is likely to experience new development including apartments and other residential dwellings. The addition of some retail which will cater to the surrounding neighborhood is also likely. Overall, the area should experience an immediate face lift. The long term effect on existing neighborhoods should be considered by current residents.


Huntsville City School District Lines are Being Re-Drawn

Wednesday, April 15th, it was announced in the Huntsville Times that our school districts will be re-drawn in an effort to gain Unitary Status with the Department of Justice (DOJ). A plan has already been submitted and negotiations are underway.


SHCA has been concerned about the potential for redistricting since late in 2012.

Our News Letter issued on January 8, 2013 included the following statement:


". . .  It has been a stated goal of Dr. Wardynski to achieve unitary status for Huntsville City Schools. In order to satisfy DOJ requirements for this goal, Grissom, if relocated, will either have its district lines re-drawn or the student profile of the district must be altered."


Will your property values be affected by this rezoning? Undoubtedly. Even if your home is not removed from its current district, the district will change which means that the comprehensive test scores for your schools will change. Test scores of local schools are a primary factor considered by home buyers. 


An additional area of concern is the potential for an elementary/middle school closure in the south Huntsville area. 



New Library Coming to South Huntsville!


A new library is being planned for South Huntsville. While the library is still in the formulation stages, it does appear that this library will be a much needed and prominent addition to the area. Our District 5 County Commissioner is spearheading a committee which is considering all aspects pertaining to the library from aesthetic concerns, to location and amenities.


With such a project, a number of points have to be planned out in detail before proceeding. The committee is working to ensure that this library will be unique and one that we can all be proud of. Ultimately, creativity will help in this regard as the committee considers how other communities have created and established new and dynamic libraries. As our citizens strive for educational excellence, our new library will further demonstrate such a commitment.


 Fundraising to help pay for the library will be one of the most important issues to deal with and a variety of options have been discussed. At a certain point, donations from companies and individuals will certainly help to turn the concept of this library into a reality. While this will be a large task, a new library will benefit the area for years to come.


Shannon Moore

Interested in working with SHCA?

SHCA is rapidly growing and involved in many aspects of serving our community. The Board of Directors seeks to develop a relationship with a member(s) of the community who would like to assist in our operations. If you would like to learn more about the application process for this volunteer position, please reply to this email with an inquiry.

Alert 4-12-2013

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South Huntsville Civic Association

This communication is being sent as a time sensitive update. Our regularly scheduled news letter will be sent next week. 

It is with disappointment that we bring you the following information:


It was announced on Wednesday, April 10th that Councilman John Olshefski has accepted a job with Huntsville Utilities (owned by the city of Huntsville) as Vice President of Customer Care. Councilman Olshefski stated that in order to avoid a conflict of interest, he would recuse himself from all discussion and all votes which are related to Huntsville Utilities. During the city council meeting this Thursday, there were 2 items on the agenda which involved Huntsville Utilities. Councilman Olshefski did recuse himself. The citizens of district 3 were without representation and will continue to be without representation as long as Olshefski continues to hold both positions. 

Local politics, especially at a municipal level, involve matters which affect us on a day to day basis. One's local utilities is indeed such a matter.  A city councilman cannot genuinely serve both his constitutents and a utility company in an effective manner without there being a conflict of interest no matter what precautions may be taken. Even if Councilman Olshefski has well meaning intentions, his role as city councilman for South Huntsville and his new role at Huntsville Utilities are incompatible.


Because of the appearance of a breach of ethics, the disenfranchisement of over 30,000 citizens, and an avalanche of citizen complaints, SHCA chose to pursue this matter.

South Huntsville Civic Association believes that the public trust has been violated and requests the immediate resignation of Councilman John Olshefski. We must move as soon as possible to restore representation to the citizens of district 3. 

We are also requesting the support of Councilman Mark Russell, President of the City Council and of Mayor Tommy Battle in our efforts to restore representation to 20% of the citizens of Huntsville.

While it appears that the councilman might also be in violation of AL State Code, Section 11-43-53, we await a decision on this legality from the Alabama Ethics Commission.


Senator Paul Sanford has issued statements on this issue:

"The Councilman's decision to recuse himself from votes on Huntsville Utilities is a nice gesture, but this choice will disenfranchise the residents of District 3, or one-fifth of Huntsville residents. That is unacceptable and many people have contacted me about this situation."


"Councilman Olshefski was elected to represent the people of South Huntsville on the City Council. He is short siding his responsibility to the voters by not giving them a say on important matters pertaining to Huntsville Utilities," said Senator Paul Sanford (R - Huntsville).
Additional Questions:

While we choose to believe that the councilman simply did not consider the impact of his actions on the liberties of his constituents, it is clear that he must resign his position. Questions remain pertaining to the involvement of Huntsville Utilities and the City of Huntsville in this matter.

This is a new position which was created in December of 2012. At this time, neither the councilman nor Huntsville Utilities has provided answers to questions of interest which include:

1. What is the job description for this position?

2. What is the salary for the new position?

3. Who created the position and was it discussed during an open meeting?

4. When and how was the job opening advertised?

5. Who applied for the position and what were their qualifications?

6. Was a contract signed between John Olshefski and Huntsville Utilities; if so, on what date?

7. Did either the city attorney, Peter Joffrion or any attorney for Huntsville Utilities advise either the councilman, Mayor Battle or Mr. Yell on this matter?


SHCA will continue to pursue this issue and will keep you informed as it develops.



Jeannee C. Gannuch, President
SHCA Board of Directors

Section of AL State Law which may be of interest on this matter:


Section 11-43-53

Aldermen not to hold other municipal offices or have interest, etc., in municipal contracts, etc.; penalty.

(a) No member of any city or town council shall, during the time for which he has been elected, be appointed to any municipal office which shall be created or the emoluments of which shall be increased during the term for which he shall have been elected; nor shall he be interested, directly or indirectly, in any contract or job for work or material, or the profits thereof or services to be performed for the corporation, except as provided in this title.

(b) Any person who violates any of the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and on conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than $50.00 nor more than $1,000.00, and may also be sentenced to hard labor for the county for not more than six months.

(Code 1907, §1193; Acts 1909, No. 200, p. 197; Code 1923, §§1909, 5084; Code 1940, T. 37, §§431, 432.)


News Letter 2-14-2013

South Huntsville Civic Association


SHCA February Update

HHA Advisory Council Sham


     Several months ago, it was announced that the Huntsville Housing Authority would form a Citizens Advisory Council. Such councils are frequently formed after a government agency has offended citizens and wishes to create an appearance that input from citizens is valued. Typically, such boards have no authority, but they do hold regularly scheduled, public meetings. Members of these boards are appointed by various elected officials and often well-intended, low-profile citizens who are honored to have an "official" position. In natural appreciation for being bestowed with such an honor, the members speak highly of the agency which they "advise." This can be a highly effective public relations tool.


    We do not need to ponder the reasons for which an advisory council was formed by the HHA, but the unusual nature of this council is interesting. Typically, several south Huntsville residents who have either supported the concept of relocating public housing into our existing neighborhoods or who seek local political favor would have been included along with an invitation to a token representative of SHCA. Instead, the individuals appointed are primarily high-profile, and the majority has worked in direct opposition to SHCA goals.


The actual composition of the advisory council includes:

     (6) representatives of the downtown revitalization agenda:Committee of 100 - Carol Madry Bell; Huntsville City Hall employees, Michelle Jordan and Brenda Martin; retired Lt. Gen. James Pillsbury;Leadership Huntsville's Kreslyn Kelley and Sarah Savage.

It also includes (2) pastors of prominent, north Huntsville churches

 The group is rounded out by (3) more individuals: the local NAACP President, the founder of Life Inc., and the Merrimack Mill Village President.

Although the board has been described as having 17 members, we count only 11. Perhaps the HHA has simply not gotten around to contacting us for recommendations on the remaining 6 seats. We anxiously await our invitation.


     Now that we understand which citizens are permitted representation on this advisory council, let's consider its function. According to reports in the Huntsville Times, Charlie Burruss and Michael Lundy, executive director of the HHA, have indicated that this board is intended to:

1. Advise HHA on future public housing property purchases

2. Create and execute a plan to convince citizens that they should not oppose the addition of public housing into their neighborhoods.


     This Tuesday, Councilman Bill Kling resigned from this advisory council because its members have decided that their meetings will not be open to the public. Choosing to ignore the AL Open Meetings Act (Sunshine Laws) and a legal opinion issued on this matter, Michael Lundy supports conducting these meetings in a manner which appears to be clandestine. We applaud the integrity demonstrated by Councilman Kling with his resignation.


     Why would the HHA have such determination to discuss property purchase locations and public relations in closed meetings? Why would this group of high-profile individuals be willing to break AL state law in order to keep the discussion in these meetings from becoming public knowledge?


     Perhaps SB205, passed in the AL state legislature last year wasn't enough to clearly communicate to the Huntsville Housing Authority that the citizens of Huntsville demand transparency in our government . . .



The following link will take you to a February 12th article on this topic from the Huntsville Times.




Senator Paul Sanford Continues the Quest for Transparency in Government!


If you remember the provisions of SB205 which became law last year, you are already familiar with the content of Senator Sanford's SB98 which he has introduced for this legislative session. SB98 specifies that housing authorities throughout the state of Alabama must receive approval from their respective city council prior to utilizing their power of eminent domain. This provision creates accountability to citizens when such issues are considered by placing the decision in the hands of elected officials rather than in the hands of those who are appointed and may be unconcerned with the will of citizens in the communities they serve. Although citizens of the city of Huntsville gained this benefit last year, it is right that all citizens of Alabama have protection from potential abuse of eminent domain. We thank Senator Sanford for introducing the bill and Senator Beason for co-sponsoring. We will keep you updated on progress in the House of Representatives as sponsors emerge.




 By Senators Sanford and Beason

 RFD: Governmental Affairs

 First Read: 05-FEB-13


 SYNOPSIS: Under existing law, a municipal public housing authority may exercise the power of eminent domain.

 This bill would specify that the authority could exercise the power of eminent domain only with the approval of the municipal council.


South Huntsville Civic Association has regularly exercised freedoms guaranteed to us in the U.S. Bill of Rights. SHCA has organized peaceable assemblies. We have exercised free speech and have petitioned the Government for redress of grievances, thereby successfully curtailing potential abuse of the power of eminent domain. We must now take responsibility in the defense of our constitutional rights. For the first time, we have chosen to address an issue of national magnitude.
This event will be free and open to the public. SHCA is charging no membership dues this year, so we will rely 100% on the support of our community.



SHCA Board of Directors,
Jeannee C. Gannuch

South Huntsville Civic Association





SHCA Business Member Sponsors:


Joe Demos, State Farm Insurance

256 881-5655


Dr. Marvin Bishop III, DMD 256 881-4580 


Huntsville Financial Planning,

Alan Markell

256 881-9637


Alabama Pain Center

256 882-2003


Stanford Home Improvement

256 656-3001


Wine Rack

256 885-2121


Mid-South Moving, Inc.

256 650-0310


Cottage Craft Frames














Our 2nd Amendment Program: 





Mo Brooks


NRA National Representative,Trevor Santos



Paul Sanford



Greg Hopkins



Clay Scofield


 of Huntsville Community Rights,  Linda Lawrence


Radio Talk Host, 

Dale Jackson







Arthur Orr



Bill Holtzclaw



Phil Williams


Live Music:

Mike Ball

and the Madison Mountaintop Band



Mr. Matt Murphy, WAPI Radio


Opening Program Participants:


Representative Howard Sanderford,


Senator Shadrack McGill




WVNN Radio


National Rifle Association


The Homes of Lendon,

John Blue Realty


Stanford Arms


Buddy's Small Engine


Senator Clay Scofield


Madison County Young Republicans


Conservatives for Good Government


W.W. Supplies


ABC Custom Apparel


Valley Productions, Inc.


Michael E. Brodowski, P.C.

Attorney At Law


Perhaps the relocation of Grissom isn't a done deal afterall.

SHCA January 2013 Newsletter


February, 2011 Newsletter
City Right of Ways - Landscape Maintenance

We thank all who were able to attend our meeting on January 30th. We now have the video of the entire meeting available for viewing. Click here to view video from The Future of South Huntsville Meeting January 30, 2012

During the meeting, Mr. Chatelain referenced information regarding south Huntsville home sales. Click here to view the data on home sales in South Huntsville from 2009 to 2011.

Our next general membership meeting will take place in April. Several members have suggested that Crime and Safety would be a topic of interest. Please let us know if you have a particular area of interest. We may choose to extend the length of the meeting and split it into two topics in order to address the interests of as many members as possible.

The following link will take you to the Spot Crime website which provides crime reports, statistics and alerts. You will be able to view a map of Huntsville with specific information providing the location and types of crimes which have been reported.

Huntsville Police Department Non Emergent Phone Number: 256-722-7100

The strip of land “granted for a transportation facility” is generally called a “Right-of-way”. The City of Huntsville builds roads and installs sidewalks in their right-of-way so that we can safely travel by car, bicycle and on foot to our destinations.

City maintenance of this right-of-way varies widely from neighborhood to neighborhood and street to street. For instance, on the southern end of Bailey Cove, early morning traffic can observe local residents with trash bags picking up “litter” thrown or blown from passing vehicular traffic during the previous 24 hours. It’s no accident that Bailey Cove has a trash free and fairly manicured appearance because of this joint private and public focus.

The City schedules mowing of the grass in these right-of-ways fairly often and occasionally includes edging the sidewalks and along the curbs. I’m sure your City Council member would like to hear from you if your city streets, sidewalks and curbs are not receiving the timely attention all our streets and neighborhoods deserve.

You may have also been in neighborhoods where grass is growing in the cracks in the sidewalk or between the curb and the asphalt road surface itself. This is unsightly and detracts from both property values and neighborhood pride.

SHCA has been advised that the City of Huntsville will no longer be using “Roundup” or other weed and grass killer to kill those unsightly clumps of grass or runners from inadequate edging efforts.

Just as those neighbors stepped in on Bailey Cove to pick up trash, we hope that you will join us and step in with “Roundup” sprayers to kill any grass growing in places inconsistent with neat well-maintained right-of-ways in our neighborhoods.

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South Huntsville Civic Association

New Neighborhood Zoning Change

A hearing will be held in city council chambers regarding the zoning change requested for property located between Aldridge Creek and Branscomb Rd. The change from Residence 1-B to Residence 2 would allow the developer to build larger homes on each lot although the homes would be closer together than those in the adjoining neighborhood of Branscomb Rd. The re-zoning would include a plat restriction which prohibits the construction of apartments, duplexes or other multi-family structures. This restriction would stay with the land in case of a future sale. A total of 36 new homes would be built in the new subdivision called Greenway Park. These homes would sell for between $150,000 - $250,000, which is substantially higher in value than the adjacent neighborhood.

At this time, SHCA is supporting this change in zoning. The neighborhood development has begun, and we welcome having larger homes which are more likely to bring new, young families to south Huntsville. We are confident having larger homes built in this neighborhood will also help to lift property values of the adjacent neighborhood. We welcome your opinions on this issue and encourage you to contact us or to attend the city council hearing on February 23rd as noted under "Events" below.

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South Huntsville neighborhoods have maintained their collective value over the last 3 years. However, since the HHA purchase of Mahogany Row, we are highly concerned with what is happening to the property values on that particular street. The buildings owned by the housing authority have been well maintained. However, the buildings located nearest to those are in a state of rapid decline. One has several windows which have been boarded up for about 6 months. Another is being advertised for "absolute auction," this month. There is trash and debris in front of buildings, and front lawns are no longer covered with grass, but have become squares of dirt with weeds here and there. Adult residents are often milling about on the streets, and there has been an increase in the number of service calls from the police department. We do appreciate the cooperation of HPD. As requested, they have increased patrols in the area. It's unfortunate that this has become necessary.

Applications will be available on February 18th for the SHCA annual scholarship. This $1,500 cash award will be granted to a graduating senior who will be continuing his or her education. We are seeking applicants who have served the community through volunteer work while maintaining an above average GPA. All applicants must be sponsored by an SHCA member.

Jones Valley

P.O. Box 12271

Huntsville, AL 35815


SHCA’s membership drive for 2012 is underway. Over the past few weeks, we processed a tremendous amount of new members as well as membership renewals! Thank you!

Our most important asset continues to be the dedication of our members and volunteers. Our members are THE VOICE of south Huntsville. Our work continues to make a difference in the community.

We need your help to continue to expand our membership rolls. Please spread the word about SHCA. Tell friends, neighbors, and family members… really easy. Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool.

To renew your membership for 2012, you can may mail your membership application and dues to:

South Huntsville Civic Association

PO Box 12271

Huntsville, AL 35815


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Saturday, February 18th -Two of our business members, Ceramic Harmony and The Wine Rack, have requested that SHCA members be invited to a free wine tasting event. Click here for details

Thursday, February 23rd, 6pm - Greenway Park Zoning Hearing - Huntsville City Council Chambers

Thursday, February 23rd, 6:30 - 8:30pm - STEM - You are invited to attend the area-wide, middle school STEM Career Fair in the Challenger Elementary / Middle School cafeteria. This free event aims to increase area middle school students' awareness of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics related careers, coursework and activities. It is open to 5th-8th grade students and their parents. Representatives from groups such as NASA, AMRDEC GEMS, Sci-Quest, GHS Academy of Applied Math and Science, and others will be there to provide information and answer questions. Games, activities and concessions will be available.

Thursday, February 23rd, County Commission Chairman Debate -

For more information on our upcoming event please visit

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SHCA 2012 Primary Endorsement Report

The South Huntsville Civic Association (SHCA) was formed in May 2009. It was organized as both a Civic Association and as a Political Action Committee (PAC) with the intent of influencing elections of government representatives, and to provide Huntsville’s elected representatives and other key civic leaders with input on issues that are critical to the quality of life for the citizens of South Huntsville.

We seek to unite residents of South Huntsville so we have one powerful voice that lets our local leaders know we expect them to address our issues and concerns. Our representatives must be accountable for decisions made. As a non-partisan PAC, we are not affiliated with any political party.


U. S. Congress, 5th District - Mo Brooks by unanimous vote

Mr. Brooks has been chosen as the SHCA endorsed candidate based primarily upon his proven record of service and it's contrasts with that of the opposing candidate who has also held this office.

During his first term, Congressman Brooks has remained in constant contact with the constituents of District 5 through newsletters, town hall meetings and telephone town halls. We place great value on the term "Representative." Congressman Brooks shares our belief that he is in D.C. to represent the needs, values and desires of citizens in his district. He continues to represent views and goals which are relative to specific issues concerning SHCA, and are very much in line with ours as an organization.

We are also impressed with his performance in serving the greater area of district 5. He was recently named the "2011 Fighting Freshman of the Year" by the U.S. Business and Industry Council for his efforts to promote American job creation. He was chosen from the 93 members of the House freshman class by the U.S. Business and Industry Council. USBIC represents 2,000 American manufacturers, providing more than 200,000 American jobs.

County Commission, 3rd District - Scott Jones by overwhelming majority

As a native of Huntsville with roots in the New Hope area, Mr. Jones has thoroughly impressed the SHCA Board of Directors with his passion for district 3. His record of community service, desire to plan for the future, and extensive accomplishments in the business world will work in concert for the benefit of south Huntsville, district 3, and the whole of Madison County.

Specifically, Mr. Jones is the only candidate who expressed strong, positive positions on the lack of need for a sales tax increase, the benefits which would be afforded countywide by adding access and amenities to Ditto Landing, and dedication to the importance of maintaining high property values.

While all five candidates for this position lack experience to elected office, Mr. Jones makes up for this with his comprehensive understanding of the county system and of the duties and responsibilities of this office. In addition to being dedicated to the responsibilities of infrastructure maintenance, he proposes to use this office to usher in business growth and development. Mr. Jones has an approach which will thoroughly fulfill the traditional role of a county commissioner while also utilizing his outstanding experience in the world of business for the benefit of his constituents.

County Commission, 5th District - Phil Riddick, by unanimous vote

The South Huntsville Civic Association is proud to endorse Phil Riddick for District 5 County Commissioner.

Commissioner Riddick has been a resident of South Huntsville for 26 years. Phil is also a member of The South Huntsville Civic Association and has served as a Board Member for the association. Since being appointed in 2011 to fill the unexpired term of Mo Brooks, Commissioner Riddick has continued to support south Huntsville and the SHCA. He has 25 years as a successful small businessman, and has served in many leadership positions as a volunteer.

(continued on next page)

SHCA 2012 Primary Endorsement Report (continued)


Commissioner Riddick shares the concerns of south Huntsville residents with regard to:

 maintaining the value of our homes

 recruiting economic growth and development into south Huntsville and District 5

 maintaining quality, high achieving schools

 maintaining good infrastructure of roads and utilities and services to District 5

 improving the quality of life for all residents of District 5


Commissioner Riddick’s professional and leadership experience, community involvement, and shared values of the residents of south Huntsville make him the best choice for District 5 commissioner.·

SHCA 2012 Primary Endorsement Report (continued)

Page 5

May 2009 Newsletter


May 25, 2009





SHCA News Title



Welcome to the first edition of the South Huntsville Civic Association (SHCA) newsletter. Our goal is to keep you informed about city projects and issues that affect South Huntsville. As many of you have expressed publicly in recent weeks, we have terrific neighborhoods, outstanding schools, and a wonderful sense of community in South Huntsville - but are concerned about recent decisions that may hinder the quality of life we have worked so hard to build for ourselves. It is the hope and the mission of the SHCA to provide a united voice for all residents of South Huntsville. We want to inform, influence and positively impact the decisions that concern our community, decisions that have previously been made for us - and without us.  We hope you will join us in this mission!

Thank you for making a difference!

The recent community meeting at Grissom High School was a great success. Thank you to all who attended the meeting, emailed your local representatives, or showed support in other ways! As one volunteer commented, "Numbers talk." By that measure, we did some serious talking. Early estimates indicate more than 1,000 people filled the Grissom auditorium and the number of new members who joined SHCA far exceeded our expectations! However, our city leaders are watching closely and eager to see exactly how many members have joined.

Why does a great turnout to a meeting matter? Does having a large membership base really make a difference? Yes! When city leaders see first-hand that so many residents are willing to take their time to show up at meetings, join neighborhood associations, and voice their opinions - it gets their attention. Suddenly, we are a community that has a strong voice, plenty of opinions, and it becomes understood that we are no longer willing to sit idle while decisions get made without our input. The "sleeping giant," that is South Huntsville, as Sandra Moon, District 3 City Councilwoman stated in an interview, "has been awakened." With your continued support, this "giant" will have a voice that is heard loud and clear. Again, thank you for supporting this important cause.



Highlights from Grissom Meeting 

In addition to a strong showing from our residents, the May 18th community meeting at Grissom High School was informative. It was an important opportunity to hear from our city leaders. Whether or not you attended, here are a few highlights that are worthy of repeating (the following is listed based on order of appearance during the meeting):
Sandra Moon, councilwoman, stated that she was told Brittney Point Apartments are not for sale and they do not currently accept Section 8 housing vouchers.  She said that the Huntsville Housing Authority continues to say there are no other plans for housing in Southeast Huntsville; although later in the meeting she clarified that no more apartments were slated for purchase, but she could not guarantee that applied to houses.
Mayor Tommy Battle also attempted to put to rest rumors about more apartment purchases in SE Huntsville and expressed the goal of working with South Huntsville. He said 14 new residents are going into Stone Manor Apartments, recently purchased by the Huntsville Housing Authority. Of those 14, seven are considered "self sustainers" and the other seven are "senior citizens." 
Jennie Robinson, school board member, gave an update on schools in District 3, including Grissom High School. To date, she said over $15 million have gone into updating facilities in SE Huntsville schools; and referenced an additional $350,000 scheduled for approval by the school board to update the front exterior of Grissom. She also briefly reviewed enrollment status of the schools and test scores, as they related to the number of students on the free or reduced lunch program. For more information on these numbers, visit the Alabama State Department of Education website at
Representative Mike Ball provided an update on two pieces of proposed legislation. The first, a bill that requires more transparency by the state on spending, was successfully passed in the recent legislative session. He said an online database listing state approved contracts and grants should be available to the public in three to four months.  The second proposed legislation that both he and Senator Arthur Orr introduced, did not get approved in this session - but he remains hopeful it may be passed in the next legislative session. This bill would address and restrict the power of organizations such as Housing Authorities, particularly where imminent domain is concerned. It would remove their current power of imminent domain and give veto authority to city councils over home purchases and require notification to community residents prior to such a purchase. Rep. Ball said, "This housing authority bill will be my top priority." For more information about this bill,     to view an article from The Huntsville Times.
Other city department heads or representatives gave an overview on the status of current road projects, community parks, police functions, drainage issues and flood reports, and neighborhood associations. (We'll continue to update you with more details on these projects in future newsletters.)
Representatives from both the SHCA and the Huntsville Community Rights (HCR) organizations gave a brief overview of their groups' goals. While HCR is focused almost exclusively on the HHA and its purchase of apartments in South Huntsville, the SHCA is focused on that and broader issues that impact our homes' values and our families' quality of life. Thanks to our SHCA representatives, Mark Dummer and James Steele for doing an outstanding job! SHCA and HCR are anticipating working together at every possible opportunity to reinforce our focus of one community with a united voice.
A brief Question and Answer session at the end of the meeting prompted these responses by city leaders:
Councilwoman Moon stated, "I cannot make you any promises that houses will not be purchased..." by HHA, and noted that she has only been assured no more apartments will be purchased in South Huntsville.
Mayor Battle asserted that the City will make no money from the sale of the Council Court property in downtown but did not elaborate. He also acknowledged that both North and South Parkways have segments of "blighted commercial properties" and that the City will be working to address those spaces, after the overpass project is complete.
Officer Pat Trussville, liaison between the Huntsville Police Department and the Huntsville Housing Authority, reinforced that background checks are completed on all HHA applicants and include local and national checks that must meet "strict criteria." However, he did not have any detailed information on what that criteria covered. He stated there is a "first strike" rule which means that HHA residents that commit a drug-related crime on or off HHA property will be evicted; and that the primary leaseholder of HHA property is held responsible, and said, " conviction and you are evicted."


How SHCA is Helping You 

All of us are busy and working hard, taking care of our homes and families. That doesn't mean we don't care about our community or don't have opinions and ideas on how to make it better - we just don't always have enough time. That's why SHCA is here... to make sure your voice is heard.


SHCA serves as a conduit for a united voice for South Huntsville. In doing so, our purpose is to:


 - Provide a united voice for residents of South Huntsville and communicate issues of importance to local leaders.

 - Initiate studies and discussions of the problems of the Community and to develop recommended solutions of the greatest mutual benefit.

 - Discuss projects and public improvements which will encourage growth and development of the Community and make it a better place in which to live.

 - Encourage public support to help achieve our objectives.

 - Organize, schedule, and gather and disseminate information on activities and affairs of general public interest in the Community and on the activities of the Community.

 - Apprise governmental agencies and public officials of the views of the Association in matters pertaining to the Community, and to work with such agencies and officials to realize the goals of the Community.

 - Contract, maintain liaison and unite with civic organizations and associations in order to discuss and resolve problems of mutual interest and concern.

- Form a Political Action committee within the membership to support local candidates that represent the best interest of south Huntsville residents. (Mayor, city council, school board, and county commissioner)


Let us help you. Join SHCA now and let your voice be heard! Visit           to join.


Be Heard: Important Community Contact Info 

Your community representatives want to hear from you! Whether you have a question about road projects, an issue with drainage, or want to know how often police patrol your neighborhood, here is a list of important contacts provided at the Grissom community meeting:


South Presinct on Bailey Cove Road

Officer Bill Chappell: 213-4548

Officer Bob Cornelison: 213-4550 


City Engineering

Report Road Problems: 427-5007

Report Drainage Problems: 427-5300


Local Representatives

Mayor Tommy Battle's Office: 427-5000


Sandra Moon, Dist. 3 Councilwoman: 427-5011


Dr. Jennie Robinson, Dist. 3 School Board: 428-6800


Mark Russell, Dist. 2 Councilman: 427-5011


Doug Martinson, Dist. 2 School Board (Includes Grissom):


Mo Brooks, Dist. 5 County Commissioner




We appreciate your support!



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