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Thirteen people have applied to fill the seat of former Birmingham City Councilor Jay Roberson, who announced his resignation last month. The lineup includes a former board of education president, a handful of candidates who previously ran for the District 7 seat, and a current member of the Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority, among others. Read more.
The eight members of the Birmingham City Council spent much of Tuesday morning’s meeting focused on the daïs’ sole empty chair, stuck on the question of how to replace former President Pro Tempore Jay Roberson.
Roberson, who had represented District 7 on the council since 2009, announced his resignation last month, citing his wife’s new job with Alabaster City Schools. He officially left office Monday, meaning that Tuesday’s meeting was the first in which the remaining members of the council could vote on his replacement.
They didn’t, though. The deadline for applications to fill Roberson’s seat had been extended to Tuesday afternoon. Council President Valerie Abbott attempted unsuccessfully to hold a vote for Roberson’s replacement as president pro tem. Read more.
Birmingham City Councilor Jay Roberson announced his resignation from the council on Thursday, a decision that left many of his colleagues “shocked” and that will further shake up a council already facing significant membership changes.
During a press conference held at Lawson State Community College, Roberson confirmed that he would be stepping down as District 7’s councilor effective Sept.10.
Roberson said his wife has taken a new “dream job” with Alabaster City Schools, which will require his family to move.
“My wife’s wholehearted support allowed me to have this opportunity (as councilor),” he said in a press release. “Now is a time for me to support her professional aspirations and do what’s right for my family.” Read more.
Oct. 24, 2017 — Shortly after being sworn into office for the 2017-2021 term, the Birmingham City Council elected Councilor Valerie Abbott to serve as president and Councilor Jay Roberson as president pro tempore. The two will serve in the leadership roles through 2019.
Abbott defeated Councilor Steven Hoyt for the president’s position on a 5-4 vote, drawing support from Councilors Darrell O’Quinn, William Parker, Jay Roberson, and Hunter Williams. This will be her first term as council president; she has served as a council member since 2001. Abbott succeeds former Councilor Johnathan Austin in the position after his loss in the Oct. 3 runoff election.
Roberson was elected president pro tem, also by 5-4 vote. He defeated fellow nominee Sheila Tyson, with votes from O’Quinn, Parker, Williams, and Abbott. Roberson has been a councilor since 2009 and served as president pro tem from 2013 to 2016.
“The commitment that I make to all of you is that I’m going to be fair, and we’re going to follow our own rules to the best of our abilities,” Abbott said. “I appreciate the confidence my colleagues have shown in me. I know this is a big and very unusual thing for the city of Birmingham, so I am honored.” Read more.
Jay Roberson wasn’t present at Tuesday’s Birmingham City Council meeting, but his recently announced resignation loomed over proceedings. A discussion over whether to reallocate funding for parks in his district led to a prolonged debate over how much spending power lame-duck councilors should have — with the only present outgoing councilor, District 1’s Lashunda Scales, expressing outrage that the discussion was even happening. Read more.
With this week’s resignation of President Pro Tem Jay Roberson, the Birmingham City Council faces the unusual task of appointing three new members by the end of the year.
Roberson’s resignation takes effect Sept. 10, while Lashunda Scales and Sheila Tyson will resign from the council Nov. 14 to take office as the Jefferson County Commission’s newest members, having been elected earlier this year.
The council’s seven remaining members will have to agree on three replacements for their outgoing colleagues. Historically, the appointment process has been a difficult one, and this year is unlikely to be an exception.
Among issues to be decided by the council are the precise process for selection and how much outgoing council members should have to say about who is selected as their replacements. Even how long the new councilors will serve is up in the air. Generally, appointees serve until the next city election, which in this case is 2021. But if a special city referendum being considered is called early next year, the appointees who want to continue on the council will be running in just a few months. Read more.
Environmental groups have asked Gov. Kay Ivey to take steps to remove from office state environmental officials who were implicated during the recent bribery trial over a plan to block the expansion of a Superfund toxic waste site in Tarrant and Inglenook.
Two small residential properties in Birmingham’s Druid Hills neighborhood took on much larger significance during Tuesday’s City Council meeting, as a chaotic debate over whether they should be rezoned to accommodate their owners’ legal practice ballooned into a discussion of the economic future of Birmingham’s black neighborhoods. Read more.
In one of the state’s biggest criminal corruption cases, a federal jury has found an executive for a major coal producer and a Birmingham attorney guilty of bribing a member of the Alabama State House.
The jury returned guilty verdicts on six counts against Drummond Company Vice President for Government Affairs David Roberson, and six more against Joel Gilbert, an attorney for Balch & Bingham. The verdicts were handed down late Friday afternoon, after a day and a half of deliberation that capped a trial that ran for four weeks.
Federal prosecutors said that Roberson and Gilbert bribed former Alabama Rep. Oliver Robinson, giving to a charitable foundation he controlled in return for him using his influence to oppose the Environmental Protection Agency’s expansion of a Superfund toxic waste site in Tarrant and Inglenook. Read more.