Category: Jefferson County Commission
Polling places in Jefferson County could be in line to receive more money to host elections, according to a report from Barry Stephenson, chairman of the Jefferson County Board of Registrars.
Speaking at Thursday’s meeting of the Jefferson County Commission, Stephenson said that the county last increased the rent offered to sites that host polling places in October 2018. That took the rent from $25 to $100.
The registrar said an increase in rent this year would be a sign of goodwill. When asked, Stephenson said the rent could be raised to $250 for each of the county’s 175 polling places; he said only 60 polling places actually accept rent.
Viewers of Tuesday’s Jefferson County Commission committee meeting were given a hint of what was to come in today’s commission meeting.
Even if they didn’t realize it.
Revenue Director Travis Hulsey, the county’s interim chief financial officer, was about to present financial resolutions when commissioners asked that deputy CFO Angela Dixon make the presentation instead.
They did that because Dixon was hired today to be the county CFO, replacing John Henry, who left for a job in Washington, D.C., in January.
Businesses in Jefferson County will be able to apply for more money to help them combat the effects of COVID-19 if the County Commission approves a resolution being considered Thursday.
The resolution, presented by the Office of Community Services and Workforce Development, seeks up $1.15 million in supplemental funds for the county’s revolving loan fund grant from the state’s Economic Development Administration. Jefferson County commissioners in their committee meeting Tuesday decided to place the issue on the agenda for action Thursday. Read more.
The Jefferson County Commission followed a 45-minute meeting with an hour-long executive session today as commissioners received guidance on their use of federal stimulus money because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In calling for an executive session, County Attorney Theo Lawson cited the state statute regarding pending litigation and matters likely to be litigated in court.
“There are already three entities that are already set up by the President to do audits and investigations on the manner in which these moneys are to be spent.” Lawson told BirminghamWatch. “That could include law suits to bring back and recoup those moneys in the event something happens.
The Jefferson County Commission is likely to go into executive session at its meeting Thursday to get information about the $115 million in stimulus money it received to help the county deal with the effects of the novel coronavirus.
The subject came up during today’s commission committee meeting.
“There has been lots of information that has come out regarding the use and expenditure of these funds,” said County Attorney Theo Lawson, “and the way that it will be looked at in terms of illegal spending and potential exposure that we have or may not have depending on how we use those funds.”
The new normal begins Friday in Jefferson County as the County Commission reopens its courthouses and county facilities. The commission’s order to close county facilities to the public expires Thursday.
“You’ll see some changes when you come in the courthouse,” county manager Tony Petelos said. “We’re doing everything that we possibly can to protect our employees and to protect the public.” Read more.
“Steve, we hear you. Can you hear us?”
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the state, the Jefferson County Commission continues to hold its meetings via videoconference, shown live on Facebook.
Sometimes it takes a little while for everyone to get online, as when Commission President Jimmie Stephens was trying to get through to Commissioner Steve Ammons before the meeting began Thursday morning. But they do eventually get together, as they did today for a meeting dominated by the pandemic and its effects on the county. The agenda of regular business filled just a handful of pages thanks to the shutdown of nearly all government functions.
The only item of new business was approval to use the former Salvation Army facility in the northern part of downtown Birmingham as a place for homeless people who test positive for COVID-19 to stay. The facility would be used on an as-needed basis. Read more.
The Jefferson County Commission used its second emergency meeting of the COVID-19 pandemic to extend the closure of county facilities until April 30 and set up a $1 million COVID-19 fund to handle needs as they arise.
The first $80,750 of that $1 million was used to purchase 55 hospital beds from Jett Medical Company in the event a “surge hospital” must be established. Such a facility will be set up if local hospitals become overcrowded. Read more.
The Jefferson County Commission and Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin declared states of emergency for the county and city Monday in an attempt to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
The County Commission approved an emergency declaration and voted to close county facilities, effective at the end of business on Monday, until April 6. The commission will reevaluate the situation then.
Woodfin, in declaring the state of emergency for the city, suggested that events be limited to attendance of 25 people or less.
The coronavirus is the subject on everyone’s lips, so it likely didn’t surprise Jefferson County Commissioners Jimmie Stephens and Joe Knight when the subject came up recently. The pair addressed questions from media about the county’s preparedness for the deadly virus.
UAB Medicine was cited as a key part of the army that will battle the disease. Watch the interviews.