Category: City of Birmingham

What Does a Successful Guaranteed Income Program Look Like? Jackson Might Have the Answer

After months of planning, several cities in the Gulf South are finally ready to give guaranteed income a test run.

Birmingham, New Orleans and Shreveport, Louisiana each received a $500,000 grant to pilot a guaranteed income — the idea that one of the best ways to help people in need is to give them regular cash payments without any strings. Participants for each city’s pilot have been selected and, in some cases, money has already been sent out.

Those unwilling to wait to see results from these roughly year-long pilots to can look to Jackson, Mississippi. For the past three years, Springboard to Opportunities, a local nonprofit, has been successfully running its own guaranteed income program focused on helping Black mothers living in affordable housing. Read more.

Birmingham Has $53.4 Million Surplus, Will Fund 5% Pay Raises and Upgraded Trash Collection

Due to conservative budgeting and higher-than-expected sales tax revenues, a recent audit revealed that the city of Birmingham had a $53.4 million surplus for the 2021 fiscal year.

On Tuesday morning, the City Council voted to spend $39.5 million of that surplus on a variety of items — most significantly a 5% across-the-board raise for all city employees.

The raise will cost the city $11.6 million this fiscal year and is pending approval from the Jefferson County Personnel Board, which is slated to meet in early April.

Woodfin also said he would be recommending in his budget proposal for the year beginning July 1 that city employees get merit raises of up to 5% in the next budget year, which could mean a raise of up to 10% for some city workers within the next four months.

Other spending will include buying new garbage trucks and dedicated trash bins, paving streets and spending on the World Games. Read more.

Birmingham Dismisses Tickets Issued Before 2011

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin has announced pardons for more than 756,000 outstanding traffic and parking violations that were issued before Jan. 1, 2011. Woodfin characterized the initiative, called Stop and Go — an acronym for Suspend Traffic Obligations Permanently & Grant Opportunities — as a “second chance” for residents living under the threat of fines or arrest. Read more.

Birmingham Police Chief Patrick Smith Resigns, Citing Personal Matters

Birmingham Police Chief Patrick Smith resigned Friday, saying he wanted to focus on personal matters.

Birmingham Mayor Randall L. Woodfin appointed Capt. Scott Thurmond, a 23-year veteran on the force, to replace Smith on an acting basis, according to a statement issued by the mayor’s office.

In a letter to Woodfin on Friday, Smith resigned effective Feb. 25, but he asked to be put on administrative leave with pay until then to allow him to conclude some personal business and to allow for a smooth transition to new leadership. Read more.