Category: Jefferson County Commission

Jeffco Commissioner Stephens Was Rooting for the Other Side in Bet Over Road Construction

Jimmie Stephens admitted that he wanted to lose the bet.

The president of the Jefferson County Commission had a friendly wager that work to widen Morgan Road in Bessemer wouldn’t be underway by December 2018.

“I have seen the holdups,” Stephens said following Monday’s commission committee meeting. “I felt it was a bet that was easy for me to make but it is one I was hoping I would lose. Unfortunately, I didn’t.”

Plans to widen Morgan Road from its current two-lane alignment to four lanes and a turn lane have been two decades in the making. Stephens said 14,000 to 18,000 cars travel that road per day, either headed north of Interstate-459 or south of the interstate. Read more.

Jefferson County Commission Approves Workforce Development Funds for Lawson

Sheila Tyson called a pair of rental assistance agreements “a Band-Aid on a bad wound” as the newly installed Jefferson County Commission met for the first time on Monday.

Tyson and her fellow commissioners had heard two items during their committee meeting that allotted money to pay the rent for a couple of Jefferson County households to keep each from becoming homeless.

Tyson, who chairs the commission’s Community Services and Workforce Development Committee, said poor persons in the county need training so they can provide for themselves.

During their meeting, commissioners also approved $75,000 from the general fund for Lawson State Community College for workforce development and job training programs. Read more.

New Jefferson County Commissioners Pledge to Work on Behalf of Residents

The latest edition of the Jefferson County Commission took office Wednesday with a swearing in ceremony in the morning and a meeting in the afternoon to set its organization in place.

When the day was done, Jimmie Stephens was again president of the commission and Lashunda Scales, who, like Sheila Tyson, made the move from the Birmingham City Council, was elected president pro tem. Read more.

Scales and Tyson Couldn’t Have Been More Different in Farewells to the Birmingham Council

On their final day as city councilors, Lashunda Scales and Sheila Tyson addressed their colleagues during an otherwise uneventful council meeting, reflecting on their tenures before they move to a higher level of government.

Scales and Tyson were technically elected to the Jefferson County Commission in Nov. 6’s general election, though they were both uncontested and had been assumed to take their seats since winning their July runoff elections. Scales had been the councilor for District 1 since 2009, while Tyson had represented District 6 since 2013. Both won their bids for re-election last year, but their commission wins meant that they would have to leave their seats with three years remaining in their terms.

Their speeches at Tuesday’s council meeting highlighted the contrast in their political styles — Scales loquacious and boastful, Tyson serious and determined — and in many ways epitomized their respective terms on the council. Read more.

Who Has Final Say Over Jefferson County Money Matters?

Jefferson County commissioners and Jefferson County Tax Collector J.T. Smallwood have different ideas of who must OK contracts set up by Smallwood.

Commissioner David Carrington said Thursday any contract involving Jefferson County government income and expenses must be approved by the commission. Smallwood, an elected official, said he doesn’t work for the commission.

“Department heads answer to the commission. I answer to the voters of Jefferson County every six years,” Smallwood said. “We don’t work for the commission. Now some of the employees in my office do. I guess that’s a little different story.”

Smallwood is running against Joe Knight to represent District 4 on the commission on the Nov. 6 general election ballot. Read more.

JeffCo Commissioner Hopes to Recruit Businesses With Japanese Ties

Jimmie Stephens went to the ends of the earth in pursuit of development opportunities for the county.

The Jefferson County Commission president returned from a recent trip to Japan with a cold and some hot leads toward reeling an international business development into the county.

Stephens said his trip Oct. 18-20 to Tokyo for the 41st annual joint meeting of the Japan-U.S. Southeast and Southeast U.S./Japan Associations was all about relationships. Read more.