The State of the City: 2021

December 6, 2021

Morgan Robertson

Prior to our final organizational meeting of the semester, the LEAP Ambassadors stopped by the annual State of the City at the Walker County Storm Shelter

We walked in to see the whole facility lively with the conversation of citizens interacting with one another and City staff.

The Huntsville Public Library was one of our stops. I was able to introduce fellow Ambassadors to a few of the Library Staff: Rachel McPhail, the City Librarian; Brenda Collins, the Service Specialist; and Linda Huff, with Adult Literacy. HPL had a great visual aid made up of popcorn to demonstrate how much money patrons save and the return that the city receives.  

As we made our way around the room, we stopped at the IT booth, where they had an old rotary phone, a box Tv, and a security camera. Erin even learned how to dial on the rotary phone!, examining it as if it were a telegraph machine from the 19th century.

Seeing all the departments in Huntsville was a great learning opportunity, and it helped that we knew many of the staff. We even got to take pictures with Huntsville’s Main Street photo booth. 

As everyone took their seats Mayor Andy Brauninger began the opening remarks, expressing his love for the city and how much it means to him.

He also introduced School Board Trustee Ken Holland, who gave the invocation…

…and a local Boy Scout troop, who ably took care of colors.

Mayor Brauninger then introduced the City Manager, Aron Kulhavy. Aron Kulhavy gave a speech discussing the last two years and the City’s achievements.  

As Aron Kulhavy addressed the many updates Huntsville has, we were able to learn about the new developments such as a city-run animal shelter, an expansion of I-45, and an expansion of the MLK Center.  

After Aron Kulhavy’s closing remarks, we were able to talk with Aron Kulhavy about the City, and to thank him for his time.

It was an informative evening, and a great opportunity to see some familiar faces, such as Cody Humphrey and Brian Aldaco.

Author: mikeyawn

Mike Yawn teaches at Sam Houston State University. In the past few years, he has taught courses on Politics & Film, Public Policy, the Presidency, Media & Politics, Congress, Statistics, Research & Writing, Field Research, and Public Opinion. He has published academic papers in the Journal of Politics, Political Behavior, Social Security Quarterly, Film & History, American Politics Review, and contributed a chapter to the textbook Politics and Film. He also contributes columns, news analysis, and news stories to newspapers such as the Houston Chronicle, San Antonio Express News, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Stamford Advocate, Greenwich Time, Huron Daily Tribune, Laredo Morning Times, Beaumont Enterprise, Connecticut Post, and Midland Reporter Telegram. Yawn is also active in his local community, serving on the board of directors of the local YMCA and Friends of the Wynne. Previously, he served on the Huntsville's Promise and Stan Musial World Series Boards of Directors. In 2007-2008, Yawn was one of eight scholars across the nation named as a Carnegie Civic Engagement Scholar by the Carnegie Foundation.

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