Springville Councilman Wayne Tucker was less enthusiastic about his town’s place on the list. Tucker equates such rapid expansion with uncontrolled growth, which he said many in town felt was incompatible with Springville’s small-town culture.
Pell City Mayor Bill Hereford pointed out another wrinkle — if the Census Bureau’s preliminary estimates are borne out, Pell City and Moody will have to change their form of government to one in which the mayor and council are separate and the mayor does not participate in council votes. “There’s also the opportunity for a city manager form of government,” Hereford said.
While the officials in each of the three municipalities reacted to the news with different concerns, all three must recognize with some pride that it is the quality of life in their cities that has attracted so many new residents.
While most of the rest of the country is dragging out of the recession, St. Clair County is surging ahead with economic development. And as economists know, success breeds success. The population numbers, with all the benefits and problems that more people bring, are likely to continue climbing.
The governing bodies of Moody and Pell City may as well start figuring out the steps to change their forms of government, and Springville’s will have to get comfortable with greater and greater demand for city services.
When so many towns are seeing their young people move away and their populations aging and dying, the challenges St. Clair’s fast-growing municipalities face are good problems to have.