Story by Barry Wise Smith and photos by Brit Huckabay
Scott Brakefield reflects on the first nine months as Alabaster’s mayor while looking to the future.
Scott Brakefield, a lifelong Alabaster resident—was elected mayor last August after serving three terms as the Ward 6 representative on the City Council, serving as Council president for two of those. “It’s about service and giving back,” Brakefield says. “I’m trying to give back to the city that has given so much to me and my family. I want to help shape the city that I love. I love that it still feels like a small town.”
Brakefield, a proud Thompson High School graduate, Class of 1993, campaigned on continuing the city’s partnership with the school system, working on vital infrastructure projects, and enhancing the city’s park facilities. “We have some catching up to do,” Brakefield says. “We need a rec center and more trails and park facilities to provide more opportunities for our families to enjoy the outdoors. I also want to maintain our strong partnership with the school system. Our schools are the number one economic engine, and we want to keep it that way. Then there are infrastructure needs like completing the Highway 119 project and addressing storm water issues.
Brakefield has established a strong working relationship with the City Council. “Having served on the Council helps me to talk through things with the council members,” Brakefield says. “I grew up playing sports so I use a sports analogy: we’re a team. It’s ok to say no and not agree all the time. But we have to have open and honest conversations. It’s about the citizens and what’s best for the city. After almost a year in a chat with the mayor’s office, Brakefield says, “I now have a much deeper appreciation for the office of the Mayor. Instead of hearing from just people in the ward you represent, you hear from everyone, and that’s important.”
As for the future, Brakefield is prepared for more growth and exciting things happening in Alabaster. “We’re going to continue to grow residentially so we have to have roads that can accommodate that growth,” he says. “We have to work on our sewer and water systems. We need to continue to enhance our quality of life. We have a comprehensive plan to deal with the continued growth. The Highway 119 corridor will continue to grow so we have to complete that project to safely accommodate that growth for business owners and residents.”
Brakefield looks forward to his five years as Alabaster’s mayor (Governor Ivey added a year to all municipal terms elected in 2020). “After going through what we did last fall, I appreciate the governor wanting to get the municipal election cycle off the national cycle,” he says. “It felt like there was an election of some kind every other week. And I’m excited to have a chance to accomplish more of the projects we are working toward.” And his ultimate goal is for kids growing up in Alabaster to return to the city to continue his work. “I plan to work hard because it’s incumbent on me and the people who came before me and who come after me to make it a viable option for people to come here and raise a family. We have good housing, good education, and good opportunities. My goal is to see my kids want to come back here to raise their families.”