Category: Government

U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Alabama’s Request to Stay Redistricting Decision

The United States Supreme Court Tuesday denied Alabama’s request to stay a lower court decision directing a special master to draw new state congressional maps to remedy Voting Rights Act violations.

The nation’s high court dismissed the request in two one-sentence orders Tuesday morning. No opinions were given with the decision, which could open the door to Alabama having two congressional districts with majority or near-majority Black populations. Read more.

Vote Tuesday in Two JeffCo-Area State House Seats

Voters in some parts of Jefferson County will be headed to the polls Tuesday to choose among candidates for two state House of Representatives seats.

Special elections are being held to choose nominees for House District 55 and District 16, filling seats left vacant by the resignations of Fred Plump and Kyle South.

Plump resigned after pleading guilty to charges of conspiracy and obstruction of justice on allegations he took money from a fund used to support programs in Jefferson County under the direction of another legislator and kicked back a portion of it to a legislator’s assistant.

South, a Fayette Republican, stepped down from his house seat June 30 to become CEO of the West Alabama Chamber of Commerce.

Read more about the election.

For more information on the candidates, go to:

House District 55 Special Election Candidates

House District 16 Special Election Candidates

JeffCo Asks Court to Release It From Its Last Consent Decree

The Jefferson County Commission Tuesday filed a motion to be released from the 1996 consent decree over the Jefferson County Sewer System.  

It is the next step in the county being released from all the consent decrees imposed on it.  

“We were successful in getting out of the employment consent decree,” County Attorney Theo Lawson said. “The next consent decree was the environmental consent decree. We have made tremendous strides in ensuring that we are in compliance and beyond with federal law and continue to be committed to that because our sewer system is one of our biggest assets.   Read more.

Birmingham Sets Up New Police Advisory Committee

Birmingham Randall Woodfin on Tuesday announced the formation of a Public Safety Advisory Committee to conduct an assessment of police operations, review community complaints, bring transparency to police operations and hold the police department accountable for its actions.

The first meeting of the committee will be Thursday on the second floor of City Hall and is open to the public.

The committee formation comes after the city in 2021 formed a Civilian Review Board, but it never got to the point of publicly dealing with community complaints. Read more.

JeffCo Sets Largest Budget Ever

Angela Dixon, the chief financial officer of Jefferson County, was quick to acknowledge the help she got from the county’s budget office in delivering the county’s largest ever budget.

“These ladies are the gems of Jefferson County,” Dixon said of Lene Wormley and Marilyn Shepard. “They have gotten the distinguished budget award for four years straight, and it’s only two people in the office.”

Those few workers prepared the total of $1,264,956,131 budget passed Thursday by the County Commission. Read more.

Birmingham Council Amends Laws Affecting Predatory Towing, Plan More Changes

The Birmingham City Council wrestled with the issue of predatory towing this week and passed two ordinances to start addressing the problems.

Councilor Darrell O’Quinn, who heads the council’s transportation committee, has worked to resolve complaints on both issues since 2017.

After council approval of the ordinances, he called the action “a milestone because it has been a lot of effort.” Read more.

Commission Sends $1 Billion Budget to Thursday’s Agenda

Jefferson County Commission President Jimmie Stephens gave Commissioner Joe Knight a hearty handshake at the end of a nearly two-hour committee meeting of the commission, congratulating the finance chairman as the proposed 2024 fiscal budget went to the agenda of Thursday’s commission meeting.

“This budget’s been a work in progress,” Knight said. “I think we’re going to be fine with it. We still gotta try to keep an eye out on the economy, where it’s going. We’ve still got the refunding coming up. There are a lot of moving parts to this.” Read more.