Category: Jefferson County Commission

New Face Moves Into Jefferson County Deputy County Manager’s Office

County Manager Cal Markert has moved into the office of his former boss. Now he has someone to move in next door, in the office where he worked as deputy county manager. Jefferson County has hired Dave Strahl to fill Markert’s former post. Strahl comes from Illinois, where he served as interim village manager of Schiller Park. He has more than 30 years of experience working with municipal governments of all sizes. Markert said being short-handed has made things pretty difficult because there are vacancies in some director positions, including human resources. Read more.

Tyson Handily Wins Reelection to Jefferson County Commission

A jubilant Sheila Tyson celebrated with supporters Tuesday night after she won a second term representing District 2 on the Jefferson County Commission.

As the DJ at L.I.T on 8th played McFadden and Whitehead’s “Ain’t No Stopping Us Now,” the former Birmingham City Council member declared that she had defeated the Rev. Steve Small Jr.

“With 55 percent of the boxes in, I am at 86 percent of the vote,” Tyson declared. “Our goal was 52 percent of the vote.” At the end of the night, Tyson had held onto that lead, logging 86.5 percent of the vote with 98 percent of precincts reporting. Read more.

JeffCo Commission OKs Store Near New Hospital in McCalla; President Says It’s a Bad Call

Jefferson County Commission President Jimmie Stephens said that someday a future panel of commissioners will say an action taken by the commission Thursday was shortsighted.

Stephens cast the one nay vote to a request to rezone property in McCalla from agricultural to commercial to accommodate a convenience store with a gas station and deli. The property, at 4476 Bell Hill Road, next to the UAB West Hospital that’s currently under construction.

The current land use plan for that area is rural. Stephens said the immediate future should have been weighed more heavily. Read more.

As More Dilapidated Structures Are Demolished, Jefferson Commissioners Discuss Ways to Redevelop the Properties

During its committee meeting Tuesday, the Jefferson County Commission applauded the demolition of public nuisance properties but expressed concern for blight that could follow.

Mike Thomas, building inspection services manager with the county’s Department of Developmental Services, presented a resolution for about 30 nuisance properties to be torn down. County Manager Cal Markert commended Thomas, who has 17 demolitions under bid already and another 30 in line.

“That’ll be 77 within 24 months,” Markert said, “so I’m superexcited.”

Said Thomas: “We’ve always been reactive, looking at when we have complaints. Now we’ve had the opportunity to go proactive and try to clean up some communities and make things better for the people who live there.

“What we want to do is make an impact. We don’t want to do one house here and one house there.” Read more.

County Crews Will Clean Up Storm Debris in Smith Camp (Even if it’s Quite a Commute)

Jimmie Stephens said you would be wise to pack a lunch if you’re driving to Smith Camp on the Warrior River. And maybe take dinner.

“It’s past Oak Grove,” the Jefferson County Commission president said with a chuckle. “You pass Oak Grove, go down Alliance (Road) and it’s on the left down there.

“I call it the far reaches of Jefferson County,” Stephens continued. “It’s our responsibility as a county commission to take care of all of our citizens. We intend to do that whether you live in Southside or whether you live in Smith Camp on the Warrior River. We’re gonna do our best to service their needs.”

At the moment, the service Smith Camp needs is clean up of debris from a recent destructive storm. Read more.

Jefferson County Commission to Consider Rescue Funds for Civic Center Authority, Visitors Bureau

Jimmie Stephens declared after today’s committee meeting of the Jefferson County Commission that there are activities and events aplenty in Birmingham, the county seat.

“There’s more to do in the city of Birmingham now than we ever had in the past,” the commission president said. “I was actually at the (USFL) ball game (Monday) night and the City Walk is beautiful. I am so excited of the opportunity that citizens are gonna have to be able to utilize that great new space.”

Stephens’ comments came after commissioners heard presentations from the Greater Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center Authority. Each received American Rescue Plan Act funds, as each has had to deal with shortfalls brought about by the pandemic. Read more.

World Games’ High-Risk Rating by Homeland Security Will Mean Extensive Federal Security Assistance, CEO Tells Jefferson County Commission

Birmingham’s upcoming World Games will get the highest level of security attention from the federal government.

The games has been given a level-one Special Event Assessment Rating by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, a move that designates the games as a high-risk event but that will bring in federal officers to help secure the area.

Nick Sellers, the games’ chief executive officer on Thursday briefed the Jefferson County Commission on the move. The level-one designation is reserved for major events with large crowds, such as the Super Bowl, Kentucky Derby and Indianapolis 500 — usually about six events per year. Read more.

Yours, Mine or Ours? Jeffco Commission Discusses Who Should Get Credit for Distributing Relief Money for Food

The Jefferson County Commission heard Tuesday from entities seeking funds for feeding people adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

But the discussion spilled over to who was getting credit for the federal funds being sought.

Commission President Jimmie Stephens closed the meeting by saying it appears that American Rescue Plan Act funds were being distributed by individual elected officials.

“If we will depoliticize what we do, I think that this commission can move forward as a better unified body,” he said. “It’s the entire commission who votes through majority, through resolution, as actually the donor of those funds. Read more.

JeffCo Commission Again Stalls Food Assistance Funding for Questions

Sheila Tyson took another swing Thursday at getting federal funding to three organizations with sights set on feeding people.

Once again, her swing came up empty as her fellow Jefferson County commissioners couldn’t agree unanimously to bring the matter up as new business during their morning meeting.

Tyson admitted after the meeting that she held little hope that the matter would come up for discussion and possibly a vote.

“No, I did not,” she said, recounting that she talked to her fellow commissioners before the meeting. Read more.

Food Program Funds Delayed by JeffCo Commission Questions

Jefferson County Commissioners on Tuesday put the brakes on doling out federal money to COVID-prompted food programs.

The agenda for the commission’s committee meeting had three entities that were being considered for awards of American Rescue Plan Act funds. Some commissioners said they wanted more information on how and where each organization is distributing food and their policies for doing so.

Sheila Tyson cast the lone “no” vote. “So let me get a full understanding,” Tyson said. “We’re getting ready to pull these off of the agenda, these programs that will be feeding hungry senior citizens, for our lack of understanding?” Read more.