A bridge to the future?

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 15, 2001

For 20 years, Tim James has built companies, created jobs and taken risks, and on Tuesday, he told members of the Greenville Kiwanis Club that is what prepares people to be governor.

James admits to having no political experience, but if it’s anything like building bridges, then he’s headed for success. Last year, he was involved in building the Foley Beach Express in Baldwin County and did it in record time -- 13 miles in 13 months.

It’d be nice to see some milestones made in the state -- like bringing Alabama’s education system into the 21st century and gladly leaving behind the lower ranks in SAT scores.

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Education is one of James' leading pet projects and he compared the SAT national average to a national championship football game. He said he never recalled Coach Paul &uot;Bear&uot; Bryant striving to win an SEC championship; he wanted a national championship. Essentially, skip the small steps and shoot for the grand prize.

He could be right, though. Maybe if students and teachers shoot for being number one they’ll notice as they climb the ladder to reach the the leading ranks of states with the highest SAT scores.

Small business development, James' second pet project, could also be a benefit to the state of Alabama. The state can’t afford to spend $300 million on 67 Mercedes plants, one for each county. He has a point in thinking that we could split that up across the state so that all regions could benefit.

He might set a record in economic development, if it’s anything like building a bridge.