Fresh off of his announcement that he would run for Alabama’s governor spot on the ballot this year, Greenville businessman Tim James appeared on Mobile radio FM Talk 106.5’s “The Jeff Poor Show” to discuss his candidacy and some of the issues he would hope to tackle if elected.
In addition to cultural issues, James discussed infrastructure and, in particular, the long-debated I-10 Mobile River Bridge and Bayway.
James criticized the now-failed 2019 proposal but insisted he was not as up to speed on the current I-10 proposal under consideration from the Mobile and Eastern Shore MPOs and the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT).
James insisted some of the existing infrastructure of the Bayway had another 50-75 years of life, calling into question a component of the plan that would rebuild the Bayway portion of the proposal.
He spoke disapprovingly of the ALDOT officials who had developed that initial plan.
“I don’t know what nutcase at the DOT came up with that idea, but whoever they are, they need to let them design two-lane farm-to-market roads and leave them off of the big stuff because it made no sense whatsoever,” he said.
James also spoke about ALDOT in general, which he maintained was an instrument of Gov. Kay Ivey’s leadership and had made some questionable choices in the past.
“It all starts at the top,” James said. “The way it works is the director of transportation runs the department, and that person answers directly to the governor. The DOT director serves at the pleasure of the governor. So, when the DOT director speaks, they’re really speaking for the governor. The decisions, the judgment has been lacking, top to bottom, on many fronts. And you know, I’d love to know how much money has been spent in the whole process that will never be recovered. ”
“Same thing on that bridge over there in Orange Beach,” he added. “That whole thing that they carried on about for years — what’s that about? How much money got spent in that whole process that never comes to fruition. And then the question: Once you know how much money that is, how many miles of resurfacing can you do on other roads that are not going to get resurfaced because they went chasing these crazy rabbits all over Baldwin and Mobile County.”
“And that, Jeff, is what leadership is about,” James concluded.
James faces a crowded field in the gubernatorial GOP primary, including Ivey, former U.S. Ambassador to Slovenia Lindy Blanchard, King’s Ranch President Lew Burdette, Springville Mayor Dave Thomas, Opelika pastor Dean Odle and State Auditor Jim Zeigler.
Republican voters will have an opportunity to select their preference in the GOP primary on May 24.
@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.