Former SGA president seeks city council seat

Adrienne Burch

Former SGA President Matt Calderone announced Wednesday he will run for the District 4 seat on the Tuscaloosa City Council. District 4 covers the downtown Tuscaloosa area and the University of Alabama campus.

Calderone ended his term as SGA president April 2. He will graduate from the University in early August with an undergraduate degree in political science, shortly before the election August 27. As a sophomore, Calderone interned with the city and was a member of Mayor Walt Maddox’s Incident Recovery team following the April 27, 2011 tornado.

Calderone said it has not always been his plan to run for a seat on the Tuscaloosa City Council.

“I am running for city council because my experiences in Tuscaloosa have led me to a point where I feel called to serve our community,” he said. “I want to continue the tremendous success our city has had by strengthening the relationships between The University of Alabama, the city of Tuscaloosa and entire Tuscaloosa community,” he said.

Calderone said his time as SGA president allowed him to gain knowledge about the true needs of the student body and how those students need to advocate a voice outside of the UA campus.

“My term, and experiences prior to it, also gave me the opportunity to engage the non-student population of Tuscaloosa in order to enhance student-community relations and advance the city we call home,” Calderone said.

Jimmy Taylor, current SGA president, who served as vice president of external affairs under Calderone, said he thinks Calderone would do an amazing job representing District 4.

“Matt is a born servant,” Taylor said. “If he is elected he can make sure our voice is heard within the city of Tuscaloosa.”

Taylor recalled a statement Mark Nelson, UA vice president for student affairs and vice provost, made about Calderone at this year’s SGA awards banquet.

“Dr. Nelson said that when he met Matt he thought he was a 45-year-old man,” Taylor said. “Matt has the experience and the maturity to handle the situation.”

Councilman Lee Garrison announced this week he will not run for re-election this year in District 4 and will run for chairman of the Tuscaloosa Board of Education in August. Garrison was elected to the City Council while he was a student at The University of Alabama in 1997.