Dr. Bentley takes office

Published 12:02 am Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Gov. Robert Bentley gives his inaugural address Monday on the steps of the state Capitol in Montgomery. Bentley encouraged Alabamians to work together to “heal” the state. | Photo courtesy of Shelby County Reporter

Gov. Robert Bentley called on all Alabamians to work together to “heal” the state and said the No. 1 focus of all state employees will be job creation.

The Tuscaloosa Republican and retired dermatologist took the oath of office as Alabama’s 53rd governor in Montgomery yesterday.

“I’ve always believed that, if I listened to my patients, diagnosed the problem and we worked together to determine a course of treatment, we could overcome their challenges,” Bentley said. “And after talking – and listening – to so many people across the state, I know that, working together we will make things better for all Alabamians.”

Bentley said the 2010 election “told us the people of America are fed up with business as usual. They’re tired of partisan politics and the federal government. They want action, not arguments.”

Bentley also restated his campaign pledge to put Alabama back to work.

“One of the most important things government can do in our state is help create jobs in the private sector,” he said. “There are many challenges that we must address as we move Alabama forward. But creating jobs is the key to addressing all of these challenges. When Alabama is at full employment, our citizens have money to spend, our tax revenues increase and our economy thrives.

“Most importantly, when Alabama is at full employment, it will mean that, along with a job, we have restored hope and purpose to thousands of our fellow citizens.”

Bentley pledged that he and everyone else in state government will work every day to create new jobs in the private sector.

“We must continue to create a business climate that makes our communities competitive when we’re recruiting new industry to the state,” he said. “But we must also remember that most new job creation comes from existing businesses, and we must offer the same tax breaks and incentives to them.

“If you work in government in Alabama, job creation must be your focus,” he said. “That is a directive from your chief executive.”

“I’m going to direct every state agency to do whatever it can to work with the private sector and create jobs,” he said. “Whether it is the Department of Transportation installing a turn lane so a Dollar General store can open on time or the Conservation Department helping to create and build a state-of-the-art convention center at Gulf Shores, our state’s mission from today forward is creating jobs for Alabamians.”