The article reported on Gary Palmer's answers to the following four questions:
What is the top business issue you see facing Alabama and how do you plan to address it?
What industries do you see growing in Alabama and what are your plans to contribute to their growth?
What does Birmingham need to do to be more competitive and attractive to site selectors and bring in bigger businesses with more jobs, like Airbus?
Regional government cooperation has been an issue for the Birmingham metro area. How do you recommend officials work better together and how do you plan to play a role in assisting?
The first question
On the first question, Gary Palmer says it is increased energy costs caused by new EPA carbon emission rules, plus general regulatory burdens. He says he would endeavor to devolve energy regulation down to the state level and to require Congress to vote on all major regulations proposed by federal agencies to increase transparency and accountability in the passage and implementation of regulations.
Although Gary Palmer will not talk about the failure of Congress and our government, I am going to assume he believes there has been significant failure in recent years, maybe over the past 20 years .
Why should Gary Palmer or the business community think that such failure will not continue indefinitely into the future?
The Birmingham Business Journal has previously raised the problem of Congress being a "culprit," but I am not aware that is has done any follow up. The Birmingham Business Alliance, the Business Council of Alabama, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have done nothing to consider the same to my knowledge. For more information and documentation about this, see BhamBizJournal: "Congressional Inaction Could Derail Recovery" and BCA endorsement of Gary Palmer.
So, what can one say about the first question and Gary Palmer's answer, and with no one asking him why he thinks Congressional failure will not continue? Not much, I would say.
I have given a diagnostic of the reasons for the failure, and I expect such failure to continue.
The second question
Gary Palmer's answer to the second question about what industries are growing in Alabama is pretty much across the board for manufacturing (including transportation) and technology, particularly biomedical and aerospace.
The third question
Gary Palmer's answer to the third question are (i) using the Northern Beltway to recruit new businesses to the area and to created research and industrial parks, and (ii) the expansion of better education opportunities for Birmingham students through the Alabama tax credit scholarship program in order to reduce the city's dropout rate and improve academic outcomes as well as improve the quality of the area's workforce.
I have no idea how much Gary Palmer will contribute to the foregoing. I doubt whether the Birmingham Business Journal or the Birmingham Business Alliance is holding its breath for any significant change.
The fourth question
I have no idea how much Gary Palmer can contribute to greater local cooperation. I doubt whether the Birmingham Business Journal or the Birmingham Business Alliance is holding its breath for any significant change.
It should be noted, early in the campaign, Gary Palmer was touting that government needed grassroots reform, from the bottom up, and his qualifications specially qualified him to do that. AL.com, in its candidate forum at the end of April, assigned Gary Palmer a question about that. I don''t believe he ever submitted an answer to the question. I provided my own comments regarding this idea. See this link On to Palmer and Vignuelle.
My overall comments
The first question, and Gary Palmer's answer to it, seem to me to to have the most significance for the business community in deciding what can be taken away concerning what Gary Palmer holds out for them.
Because Gary Palmer will not talk about our failed Congress, the business community should be entertaining the expectation that the failure is going to continue, and Gary Palmer offers little.