Category: Jefferson County Commission
A last-ditch effort by Jefferson County commissioners Lashunda Scales and Sheila Tyson to delay a vote on an authority to govern indigent health care in Jefferson County failed today.
Commissioners Jimmie Stephens, Joe Knight and Steve Ammons voted to approve the resolution to enter a due diligence period with UAB Health System to negotiate an agreement to create a University Healthcare Authority.
Scales and Tyson voted no.
“Today was unfortunate for the poor people, the vulnerable folks of Jefferson County as well as the employees of Jefferson County,” Scales said. “Employees are devastated. Employees feel the county has turned its back on them.”
Stephens viewed the action differently.
“It’s going to be a great day for our indigent in Jefferson County,” the commission president said. “They will be able to receive state-of-the-art care from the University of Alabama in Birmingham. And from what I’ve heard today, I’m very much encouraged that our employees will be taken care of in this process also. Read more.
Earlier this week:
A four-hour committee meeting of the Jefferson County Commission ended Tuesday with a 3-2 vote to move the creation of a UAB Healthcare Authority to the agenda of Thursday’s commission meeting.
Commissioners Jimmie Stephens, Joe Knight and Steve Ammons voted in favor of taking up the measure Thursday, with Lashunda Scales and Sheila Tyson voting no.
Stephens said the health care authority is needed because that was part of the commission’s pledge when in-patient care was closed at Cooper Green Mercy Hospital, “to form the best possible indigent care for our citizens.”
But Scales pleaded with her fellow commissioners to delay action, saying the move lacked transparency and had little to do with providing health care to the poor. Read more.
Bingo was the subject of a lengthy discussion this morning as members of the Jefferson County Commission met for their committee meeting.
Commissioner Lashunda Scales sought clarity on the county’s stance on bingo in general and electronic bingo machines that are being licensed for operation by a number of Jefferson County municipalities. Read more.
Adamsville on Thursday became the latest municipality to reach a through road agreement with Jefferson County. Countywide, 34 municipalities have agreements for the county to maintain the roads in the agreement.
Adamsville Mayor Pam Palmer said “human-high weeds” along Minor Parkway had been a particular concern in her city. Read more.
Bessemer will have to be patient when it comes to the present it’s getting from Amazon.
That present – the online retailer’s first Alabama fulfillment center – won’t be delivered as quickly as company leaders projected at the groundbreaking in October.
But Jefferson County commissioners, speaking during and after their committee meeting this morning, said they are confident the center will come to fruition. Read more.
Joe Knight offered a word of warning after the Jefferson County Commission’s committee meeting today.
With a chance of severe weather back in the forecast this weekend, the commissioner urged residents to not ignore a weather warning.
“Before, if there was a storm coming through in Hoover, the sirens would go off in Warrior,” he said. “But now we’re on the polygon system. If you hear the siren, that siren is for you. You take cover immediately and go through your plan. Have a plan, go through your plan, go to your safe space. Read more.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear the appeal of Jefferson County sewer ratepayers from the 11th Circuit Court, effectively ending the county’s bankruptcy proceedings, Jefferson County Commissioners were told today.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Commission President Jimmie Stephens said following the commission committee meeting.
County attorney Theo Lawson said the ratepayers who sued have 25 days from Monday to take further action. That is unlikely, he said. Read more.
Lashunda Scales used a discussion of a possible development in Warrior to remind her fellow Jefferson County commissioners that there are other underdeveloped areas in the county.
Commissioner Steve Ammons agreed. “We have a lot out in McCalla. We don’t have as much opportunity in north Jefferson County. We’re trying to take those opportunities and distribute them,” he said. Read more.
State Rep. John Rogers, D-Birmingham, is asking Jefferson County to “slow this train down” in its efforts to work with the University of Alabama at Birmingham in forming a health care authority.
“They have not looked at Act 201 that was passed in 2016 dealing with the Indigent Care Fund. You cannot take the Indigent Care Fund and do what you want to do with it,” Rogers said.
Rogers said he received a copy of a confidential contract between UAB and Jefferson County concerning a proposed healthcare authority. He said the agreement has problems with personnel and other matters. He called the contract “a bunch of malarkey” and said the contract calls for the authority to have a seven-member board with four members coming from UAB. Read more.
The mayor and City Council of Fairfield agree on very little these days but the two sides were on one accord at the Jefferson County Commission meeting Thursday.
The commission approved a through road agreement with the financially challenged city in western Jefferson County, taking over maintenance of the city’s three major roadways – Valley Road, Aaron Aronov Drive and Rutledge Drive – at no cost to the city.
“These roads will be a tremendous impact on the city of Fairfield in terms of our economic development by repairing those roads and providing some good infrastructure for the city,” Council President Eddie J. Penny said. “It will improve the motivation and enthusiasm of the city. We’re deeply appreciative of the County Commission’s work.” Read more.