Karlos Answers Questions From The Community
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you feel about the City's new plans for the redevelopment of Mae Eanes School?
VETERANS FIRST! There was another proposal presented for this property and the city strong armed its way into out bidding the contractor at the last minute. The proposal was for a Veterans’ Wellness facility with housing and medical/mental healthcare. They sacrificed for us and we should take care of them FIRST. As a veteran of the USCG, I will always look to provide services for those who stood and sacrificed for our country when it called. The veterans' facility would have enhanced the community and sustained it. This is a band-aid on an amputation. And it’s doing the same thing expecting a different result. We need bold leadership with vision. Not people exercising the same failed experiments.
What are your plans for combating mental health in the City? Also would you work with the city council to build mental health facilities?
It is a must! As a municipal judge, not one docket goes by that I don’t have at least 5 individuals with mental health issues who have been arrested on my docket. We must develop a dedicated Mental Health and Veteran’s court.
Will you consider bringing back Bayfest are something similar on the same scale
I loved Bayfest, but we need concerts more than just one weekend a year. I would actually propose a Spring and Fall Fest and a weekly concert series at the Riverfront amphitheater. There are logistics to work out however with city ordinances.
What are plans for regarding the Mobile Housing Board?
first I would see that it be made up of people who live in Mobile! Then bring it in line with what HUD guidelines mandate. We need visionary thinkers at the Housing Board, not just people wanting to make money for their friends and family off of the needs of people who need help with housing. I’m not interested in creating generational occupation of affordable housing. I would like to see it as a temporary opportunity for housing until people get on their feet.
What are his plans to improve the VA health care system in Mobile?
As a USCG veteran, the issues facing all Veterans is high on my list of priorities. As a municipal court judge, I see firsthand the need for a dedicated court that addresses veterans and those challenged by mental health. It is crucial that our city develop a system that addresses these needs specifically. There is a tremendous gap between getting our Veterans to the VA facility and getting them the help they need to participate positively in our community. I also served as a board member of 15place Homeless Services, Loaves and Fishes, and Housing First for several years. Our veterans stood for us and we must stand for them. I am currently working with the Veterans Memorial Recovery Team (VMRT) on several initiatives that have been on my plate for over 20 years. I look forward to working with you and others to create a system that has the power to eradicate these injustices.
What are your plans for South Mobile and DIP area?
DIP is a hidden jewel. We’ve got make sure the people who live on and off of it know that. Education; Education; Education! The current administration just announced that it will hand over Mae Eanes Middle School property to a “developer” who has HUD funding to build more projects, while they systematically tear down the old projects. As you know, this property is just off of DIP. Why can’t we build affordable housing in the 36608 zip code and nice homes off of DIP (not gentrification), like the ones on Prairie Ave. used to be. It’s right next to the Mae Eanes property. That neighborhood is now 3/4 blight.
Thoughts on Amtrak?
“I think we can all agree that having passenger rail in our city is an enhancement to the quality of life for our citizens, as well as our burgeoning tourist industry,” Finley said. “The more we can enrich that experience, the better it will be toward its overall growth.”
Once you become Mayor, what 3 action steps would you take first to foster unity among you our diverse communities in Mobile, Alabama.
1)Create a local volunteer commission of cultures. 2)Continue to promote the International Festival in all of our schools and the general public. 3)Create an avenue of communication in order to take in ideas from citizens to improve unity. I think it is important that we continue to take in ideas from our citizens. I don’t contend to have all of the answers, but I think creating a way so that all can comfortably submit their suggestions will be most helpful. Thanks for the question. Diversity and unity are a must. We are better when we respect each other’s culture(s).
What is your vision for Mobile?
The overall vision is to make Mobile the largest city in the state of Alabama. We are the oldest city in our state and on the Gulf coast. It’s past time that we take our rightful place as the state’s leading city. We look to foster relationships with our sister cities in order to elevate the state of Alabama to its rightful place in the nation.
We need to address our crime issue. What are some tools you can use as Mayor to address the crime issue?
Thanks for the question. It is one that comes up often. I’m addition to my reply (in the livestream video), please look (google) at a program called CAHOOTS (Crisis Assistance Helping Out On The Streets). It’s been found to very helpful in cities across the country.