Semmes Mayor pushing back against Mobile’s plans of annexation

Mayor Van Hook tells FOX 10 News this plan would landlock the Semmes community.
Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 9:53 PM CST
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SEMMES, Ala. (WALA) - The mayor of Semmes is pushing back against a plan that would annex parts of his city into Mobile.

Four plans revealed this week by Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson, show the different options for bringing new residents into the city.

Semmes Mayor Brandon Van Hook says not so fast.

Mayor Van Hook tells FOX 10 News this plan would landlock the Semmes community, blocking them from expanding.

He feels just like Mayor Stimpson he needs to do what’s best for his citizens.

“We found out for the first time yesterday that this was even an option for Mobile through his social media,” Mayor Van Hook said. “And so just like him, we want to do what’s best for the Semmes community and protect the Semmes community.”

Mayor Van Hook says his ambitions for the city of Semmes differ from Mayor Stimpson’s plans.

“Our annexation efforts are to continue on a path of creating our municipality and our boundaries, that’s what we’re doing,” Mayor Van Hook said. “Mobile’s annexation efforts are to grow their numbers and basically to retrieve the land around them to increase their population size.”

Of the four plans presented all would put the city of Mobile over 200,000 people.

It would make Mobile the second largest city in Alabama.

Unlike Mobile, Semmes does not have a property tax and solely relies on its sales tax revenue.

Something that would change if it were to annex in.

“It’s important for people to know that if Mobile takes over these areas that they are going to incur additional property tax,” the mayor said. “And like I said before Semmes has no property tax. We have no ad valorem tax.”

Semmes resident Eva Wheeless says she’s spent the last thirty years in Semmes and doesn’t want to see those changes happen.

“I think that would be a mistake. I hope the mayor fights it, I hope we do not annex to Mobile,” Wheeless said. “I think it should stay just like it is and I want it to stay just like it is.”

With the addition of a police department and other plans in the works, Mayor Van Hook wants to continue with that growth.

“The growth is happening well enough. You’ve seen our numbers that’s why we’re in the situation we’re in now. I believe that it’s kind of intimidating for others to see how fast Semmes is growing,” Van Hook said.

The four proposed maps will be sent to a third-party firm to verify the annexation data.

That process will take about six weeks, after which the council will vote on the options.


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