JeffCo Commissioners Shut Down Residents With Bankruptcy-Related Petition

A largely uneventful meeting of the Jefferson County Commission ended Thursday with an effort by a resident to get commissioners to rescind their appeal of a federal judge’s decision to hear the county’s bankruptcy case.
The commission president told the visitors they could not present a petition because they were not on the agenda.
“You can rescind the appeal,” Bob Friedman of Committee to Save Jefferson County told commissioners who remained to listen. “As a result of all the chaos that’s going on with the Water Works, collection issues and (people) having their water cut off, you’re a part of it.” Read more.

Citing Improved Finances, JeffCo Commission Debates Reinstating Road Maintenance

June 6, 2017 – Two matters on the Jefferson County Commission’s committee agenda Tuesday showed that the county is on better footing than it had been. Commissioners talked about reinstating agreements to provide service for through roads in some area cities and renewing a resolution for the county to again participate in the back-to-school sales tax holiday. “The county has turned the corner and we’ve established a new baseline for service within Jefferson County,” Commission President Jimmie Stephens said. Read more.

Whew! Jeffco Commissioners Relieved to Learn They Wouldn’t Be on the Hook for New Election Tablets

Jefferson County commissioners’ concerns that a state Senate bill requiring new election technology would cost the county money proved to be unfounded.

The Alabama County Commission Association had fired off a red alert to county commissions about the possibility that Senate Bill 108 might cost counties.

“It turns out there is some federal money for this that the ACCA was not aware of,” Jefferson County Registrar Barry Stephenson said. “So as far as affecting the general fund of Jefferson County, it doesn’t. It all got worked out.” Read more.

From Vacant Industrial Land to Puppy Palace? Residents Debate Use of Old Trinity Steel Land in Titusville

Sixty Titusville residents sat in the sweltering gymnasium of Memorial Park Recreation Center to consider giving their support for the old Trinity Steel property going to the Greater Birmingham Humane Society.

“It is so hot in here,” said Greater Birmingham Humane Society President and CEO Allison Black Cornelius, “but they stayed.”

When each side had made its case, 52 residents voted for the Humane Society to move to the long idle property from its Snow Drive location in Homewood. Eight voted no. Read more.

Joining Forces: Jeffco Debates Combining Inspections, Storm Water and Development Offices

Jefferson County could someday come close to being a one-stop-shop when it comes to inspections, storm water and land development. Commissioners heard a report during their committee meeting Tuesday morning about merging those three departments, as called for by a federal receiver in charge of the county’s human resources. Read more.

New West End Clinic Takes Health Care to the People, Jefferson County Commissioner Says

March 23, 2017 – Sandra Little Brown called Wednesday’s ribbon-cutting at Cahaba Medical Center “a crying moment.”

The District 7 Jefferson County Commission member said she had to defend herself against false claims that she had voted to end in-patient care at Cooper Green Mercy Hospital.

“We went through so much stress with the closing of in-patient care at Cooper Green,” Brown said during Thursday’s commission meeting. “So many people were against us. Now the people can say, ‘They took lemons and made lemonade.’”
Brown said she has worked since in-patient care at Cooper Green ended to create a hub-and-spoke system to take healthcare closer to where many people live.

Read more.

Jeffco Commissioners Looking Forward to Refinancing School Bonds

Jefferson County Commission members were still giddy at their committee meeting this morning after last Friday’s ruling by the Alabama Supreme Court concerning a 1 cent sales tax.

“For the first time, this commission can be proactive,” Commission President Jimmie Stephens said. “We can go to purchase property that will be needed and necessary for economic development. We can go to municipalities and say, ‘Let’s partner together to build and restructure our roads and our bridges. Let’s build new highways that will go throughout Jefferson County and create more avenues for economic development.

“For the first time, we can give people a reason to move into Jefferson County instead of moving out of Jefferson County,” the commission president continued. Read more.

Alabama Supreme Court Clears the Way for Jefferson County to Refinance School Bonds

Jefferson County Commission President Jimmie Stephens summed up an Alabama Supreme Court ruling during a press conference Friday afternoon.

“What’s it mean? It means it’s a great day for the citizens of Jefferson County, for all citizens of Jefferson County,” he said. “It enables Jefferson County to proceed in refinancing the county school tax warrants that is guaranteed by the 1 cent county sales tax.”

Commissioners sought a state law revising that county sales tax law so they could refinance the warrants at a lower price and divide the remaining money from the tax more broadly. A circuit judge struck down that law, but Friday the Alabama Supreme Court upheld it. Read more.

Jefferson County OKs Morgan Road Improvements, Resumes Road Maintenance in Bessemer

March 9, 2017 – Jefferson County Commissioners on Thursday rescinded a 2009 commission resolution to discontinue maintenance on through roads in Bessemer.

The action allows county workers to add a dedicated turning lane from Morgan Road onto northbound Interstate 459, as the commission discussed in its committee meeting Tuesday.

The 2009 resolution was adopted because the county did not have money for such maintenance.

“The easier thing to do was to rescind the agreement,” Stephens said. “Now we go back to doing maintenance on the road just like we did prior to 2009.”

Jefferson County Commissioners Discuss Widening Morgan Road and Revamping Lights to Ease Traffic.

March 7, 2017 – Commuters from Russet Woods and others in southwest Jefferson County may soon have a smoother commute because of action the Jefferson County Commission discussed during its committee meeting today.

Commissioners talked about making improvements to Morgan Road to ease traffic flow, including a turn lane and updated traffic lights.

The commission also discussed a mental health contract, community clean-ups and new voter information cards. The commission’s official meeting is Thursday.

Read more.

JeffCo Commission Honors Pioneering Black Judges

Lifelong friends and former neighbors in Birmingham’s “Dynamite Hill” community were honored by the Jefferson County Commission on Thursday after their retirement as judges of the 10th Circuit Court of Jefferson County.
Judge Helen Shores Lee, the first black woman to serve in the civil division of the Circuit Court of Jefferson County, and Judge Houston Brown, the first black presiding judge in the circuit, were honored for their service to the community with a proclamation presented by District 2 Commissioner Sandra Little Brown.

Read more.

JeffCo Commissioners Discuss Cooper Green Contracts, Water Line Project, Other Issues to Come up in Thursday’s Meeting.

February 21, 2017 — Jefferson County Commissioners discussed $105,400 in contracts for Cooper Green Mercy Hospital during a committee meeting Tuesday.

“That goes back to reallocating to make sure we have the funds necessary to have a positive impact on our indigent citizens,” Commission President Jimmie Stephens said after the meeting. “This commission is committed to doing that and we’re going to continue to do it.” Read more.