Category: Birmingham City Council
Nov. 14, 2017 — A budget for the 2018 fiscal year came closer to passage than ever during Tuesday’s meeting of the Birmingham City Council, but consideration eventually was pushed back to December because of concerns that newly elected officials had not had enough say in the matter. Read more.
Nov. 7, 2017 — The debate at Tuesday’s Birmingham City Council meeting was in many ways a retread of last week’s discussion, with approximately three hours dedicated to a public hearing on the potential revocation of a nightclub’s business license after reported incidents of violence and crime.
This time the venue in question was Onyx Lounge, at 615 Eighth Ave. W. The discussion drew a large enough crowd that, early in the meeting, the fire marshal refused to allow any more people into the council chambers. Read more.
Nov. 9, 2017 — The Birmingham City Council’s Economic Development, Budget and Finance Committee voted Monday to sell 24 vacant lots in Belview Heights to developer RD Squared, LLC, for $1 per lot. RD Squared will develop the lots, along with five other previously purchased lots — collectively the former site of the Camellia Terrace Apartments
The Birmingham City Council drew criticism Wednesday after a committee meeting to discuss city finances was not streamed live on Facebook as advertised.
The Committee of the Whole meeting was dedicated to a presentation by Director of Finance Tom Barnett that summarized the state of the city’s finances.
Barnett said he asked that the meeting not be streamed because he wanted it to be “a casual conversation” between the finance department and the council, where they could be “free to speak their mind.”
Former Councilor Johnathan Austin quickly posted to Facebook that not streaming the meeting appeared to be an attempt to keep the public in the dark.
The meeting remained open to members of the public who attended in person. Read more.
Oct. 31, 2017 — The Birmingham City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to revoke the business license of a violence-prone Five Points South nightclub, but discussion over funding for the Birmingham Urban League drove the meeting in a much more contentious direction, revealing potential fault lines among the council’s new lineup. Read more.
Oct. 30, 2017 — Mayor-elect Randall Woodfin announced new co-chairs of his transition team in a Monday morning press conference at the Alabama Workforce Training Center.
Perry Ward and Fred McCallum will serve as co-chairs of his Education and Workforce Committee, while Tracey Morant Adams and Josh Carpenter will lead the Entrepreneurship and Economic Development Committee. Read more.
The Birmingham City Council started its 2017-2021 term last week without three familiar faces.
Kim Rafferty, Johnathan Austin and Marcus Lundy left the council; Rafferty and Austin were defeated in their reelection bids, while Lundy did not seek another term.
During their final week in office, the three spoke with BirminghamWatch about their successes, their failures and their views on what the election means for the city. 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.