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|Mayor of Fairhope, Alabama|
|Assumed office |
November 7, 2016
|Born||Fairhope, Alabama, U.S.|
|Alma mater||Auburn University|
Karin Wolff Wilson is an American elected official and has served as the mayor of Fairhope, Alabama since November 7, 2016. Wilson's campaign platform focused on community concerns about the city's comprehensive plan, growth strategies, and maintaining Fairhope's quality of life.
Wilson purchased the Page & Palette Bookstore in 1997. The Page & Palette Bookstore is a family-owned business founded in 1968. She has served as president of the Page & Palette Bookstore, Latte Da Coffee Shop, and The Book Cellar Bar & Event Venue, which are all local businesses in Fairhope.
Awards and honors
- Founded Fairhope Local as an educational campaign to promote community benefits of buying local.
- Created the Good Life Foundation, a community organization that promotes education excellence, school programs, civic involvement, cultural development and student achievement.
- Recognized as a Local Hero in Garden & Gun Magazine in 2011.
- Recognized as one of AL.com's 2014 11 Coastal Alabama Leaders
Controversy in Mayoral Term
Wilson was involved in a controversy not long after her election to office. On February 24, 2017, Wilson fired two longtime employees: Public Works Director Jennifer Fidler (just days before her scheduled retirement) and Community Affairs Director Sherry Sullivan. The reason for their firing is unknown. Reactions from the community followed very quickly, and a petition on Change.org to have Wilson removed from office was created.
The petition reads:
“Since taking office in November of 2016, Mayor Wilson has proven she lacks the capacity to lead our dear city. She has yet to present a 2017 budget; she pushed out a lifelong Fairhope resident and 10+ yr city employee from his job; she has fired two of this town's hardest working and most iconic employees; she has decided there will no longer be cost of living raises for employees and will begin making them pay some or all of their own insurance (this includes first responders and the men and women who work through the cold and especially through the heat to care for our city); she is creating overpaid positions for her friends and pushing out current employees to make room for more friends.
“She simply replaced a ‘good ole boys’ system for a ‘good ole Karin Wilson’ system. Same system, different group of people. She is trying to consolidate all power from the council which would make for a very dangerous and scary situation for our city.
“Please stand up and help save our dear city from her tyranny and torture.”
The petition is closed but gathered the support of 342 people.
Due to this controversy and other smaller city-based issues, a surprise referendum was created to abolish the mayoral system in Fairhope in favor of a "City Manager" system, which places more of the power in council members. This system of accountability was aimed at placing more power in districts.
- "From bookseller to Fairhope mayor: Karin Wilson 'blown away' by her political win | AL.com". al.com. Retrieved 2016-11-20.
- Lee Peck (2016-07-19). "Wilson files to run against incumbent Kant in Fairhope mayoral r - FOX10 News | WALA". fox10tv.com. Retrieved 2016-11-20.
- "New Fairhope mayor: Let's tackle growth | AL.com". al.com. Retrieved 2016-11-20.
- "About — Karin For Fairhope". karinforfairhope.org. Retrieved 2016-11-20.
- "11 Coastal Alabama Leaders You Should Know: Karin Wilson | AL.com". al.com. Retrieved 2016-11-20.
- "Good Life Foundation launches "Hook 'Em and Keep 'Em" reading program in Fairhope | AL.com". blog.al.com. Retrieved 2016-11-20.
- "Why Life Is So Good on Mobile Bay | Garden and Gun". gardenandgun.com. Retrieved 2016-11-20.