Hunter Williams speaks about the recent wave of crime in his area, and what he would like to see done about it.
Image courtesy of Google Maps.
Weld’s “Neighborhood Voices” series features interviews with the presidents of each of Birmingham’s 99 neighborhood associations about the strengths and challenges facing their communities. If you are a neighborhood leader and would like your neighborhood to be included, you can reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Crestline neighborhood sits east of Birmingham as a suburb of Mountain Brook, just south of Interstate 20 and Montclair Road and north of Old Leeds Road. Crestline borders the city of Mountain Brook and Birmingham’s Eastwood neighborhood. According to the Birmingham Housing Survey, the population of Crestline is 3,154. Parts of the neighborhood are represented by District 2’s Kim Rafferty and District 3’s Valerie Abbott.
Last week, Crestline Neighborhood President Hunter Williams spoke with Weld about concerns over crime and having all neighborhoods treated equally by city leaders.
Weld: Why did you decide to become your neighborhood’s president?
Hunter Williams: I wanted to become more involved. I think that there is a lot of momentum in Birmingham right now, and at the same time there is a lot that needs improving with our city. Instead of being on the sidelines, being neighborhood president was a good way that I could help contribute to fixing some of the issues we have locally.
Weld: How would you characterize the community involvement among members of your neighborhood?
Hunter Williams: Crestline is a very involved neighborhood. Most residents know each other and look after each other, probably more so now than ever with the large increase of crime our area has been experiencing.
Weld: What are some of the biggest problems facing your neighborhood?
Williams: Our number one issue in our neighborhood is crime. Burglaries, auto thefts, et cetera, are becoming commonplace. We would like to see more police presence in Crestline to help deter the increase in crime.
Weld: What are some other ways in which you’d like to see your neighborhood improve?
Williams: We would like to see the mayor’s office and the city council give our neighborhood the same resources they give other neighborhoods. We need sidewalks in certain high-pedestrian-trafficked areas, as well as street re-paving throughout the entire neighborhood. Initiatives like Operation Greenwave have taken services away from our area. If you drive through Crestline, all of the right-of-ways and public property need to be cut and have not been for a long time.
Weld: In what ways do you think the Birmingham city government could help your neighborhood improve and flourish?
Williams: The city of Birmingham could allocate public safety resources and tax dollars to our area. We understand that the growth of our city center is important to the city as a whole and benefits our neighborhood. However, it is also important that the city does not neglect any of the 99 neighborhoods.
Weld: What do you want Birmingham citizens outside of your neighborhood to know about your neighborhood?
Williams: Crestline is a great neighborhood for anyone looking to move. Property values have been steadily increasing over the past years, and people are always moving into the area. The people are always nice and welcoming, and it is convenient to grocery stores and several restaurants.