Category: Birmingham Public Library
Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin says the proposed sale of several city-owned parking decks is an opportunity to lessen the economic damage done to the city by COVID-19 — including bringing back furloughed public library employees.
Woodfin said in an interview with BirminghamWatch that the city received an unsolicited offer from Birmingham Economic Development Partners LLC — a group founded last month by Shipt founder Bill Smith, according to paperwork filed in Jefferson County Probate Court — to purchase six of the city’s 11 parking decks for a total of $41 million.
If the sale is approved by the City Council, the city could receive that money in one lump sum in 60 days — which could go a long way toward offsetting the $63 million budget shortfall caused by COVID-19. Among other things, Woodfin says, the money would go toward reinstating library employees who were furloughed as a result of severe budget cuts.
Birmingham Public Library Executive Director Floyd Council has been suspended without pay for one month by the library system’s board of trustees, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the situation.
The decision was made in a library board meeting Tuesday. As with all personnel decisions, the board held the discussion and took the vote to suspend Council during a private executive session. Details of the suspension, including the reasoning behind it, were not immediately made public.
Deputy Director Janine Langston will take over as interim director. Read more.
The future remains uncertain for the Birmingham Public Library and its 230 employees, thanks to city budget cuts necessitated by COVID-19.
And there have been no clear answers from Mayor Randall Woodfin regarding just how much money the library system will receive from the city, which will determine how many branches will have to close and how many employees have to be furloughed.
Or rather, as members of the BPL Board of Trustees remarked during a library board meeting Tuesday afternoon, there have been several clear answers from Woodfin, all of them dramatically different.