Category: Jefferson County Commission

State Rep. Rogers Says JeffCo-UAB Health Care Agreement Would Be Illegal and Tilted in UAB’s Favor

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.

Jefferson County Pitches in for Fairfield, Takes Over Maintenance of Major Roadways

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.

Sewer Rate Town Hall Postponed, Despite Protests, Because of Lawsuit

A standing-room-only crowd greeted the Jefferson County Commission as it assembled for its committee meeting today, announcing that it’s postponing a scheduled town hall meeting on sewer rate increases because of pending litigation.

State Rep. John Rogers, D-Birmingham, accused commissioners of being cowards by putting off the event that had been set for 6 p.m. Feb. 19 at Regions Field.

“The County Commission is running like scalded dogs,” Rogers said following the commission’s committee meeting. “Sewer rates are going to go up anyway and (residents) don’t know why and they’re concerned. They’ve got a right to know.”

Rogers said he may host his own town hall meeting. Read more.

Jefferson County Deputies Granted 5 Percent Raise, Sheriff Cites Competitive Need

Sworn personnel of the sheriff’s department received a 5 percent cost-of-living raise when the Jefferson County Commission met in Bessemer Thursday.

The raise in the sheriff’s department is on top of the raise given to Jefferson County employees at the beginning of this fiscal year.
Sheriff Mark Pettway said the extra pay is needed to keep his department competitive with nearby law enforcement departments.

“We are losing officers, deputies, daily to surrounding agencies,” he said. “We want to maintain those that we have and bring on good people to work inside the sheriff’s department. Everybody works for money, so we want to make sure that we’re competitive.” Read more.

Scales Opens the Windows of the County’s Committee Meeting Room

Citizens of Jefferson County could only imagine the discussion and debate that happened when commissioners assembled for their committee meetings.

The five representatives meet in a board room around the corner from their offices with their respective staffs, the county attorney, the county manager and his staff and perhaps a few others.

But Tuesday’s commission committee meeting ushered in a new age for Jefferson County citizens, who were given a peek inside the proceedings courtesy of Commissioner Lashunda Scales.

The commission president pro tem brought livestreaming to the business of Jefferson County as a member of her staff broadcast the committee meeting via the internet. She promises to continue to practice with internet broadcasts of future committee meetings and full commission meetings. Read more.

Commissioner Questions Spending for Hospital Move if Land Is to Be Annexed

Jimmie Stephens said “it wouldn’t be right” for Jefferson County to spend money preparing for the move of UAB West Hospital to McCalla only to have the hospital annexed by neighboring Bessemer.

“It wouldn’t be right for the county to expend all those dollars on infrastructure in unincorporated Jefferson County for them to reap those benefits and then go away,” Stephens said following Thursday’s Jefferson County Commission meeting.

“We want to work with our municipalities,” the commission president said. “If the CEO of UAB West wants to go into Bessemer, that’s fine. But they should do the infrastructure. If you do the infrastructure with the county, it should be in the (unincorporated part of the) county.”

Stephens said there’s no news concerning plans for the new hospital. “It’s still planning to be moved,” the commission president said. “We haven’t gotten any drawings. We haven’t gotten any of the infrastructure work that will be done.” Read more.

Scales Voices Concern Over Cancelation of Angela Davis Honor

Jefferson County Commissioner Lashunda Scales expressed concern Tuesday about the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute cancelling its plans to honor Birmingham native and Civil Rights icon Angela Davis.

BCRI was to have given Davis its Fred Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award at its annual gala next month. That event has been cancelled, and plans to give the award to Davis have been rescinded.

“I believe that (BCRI) board members … need to be very cautious that we’re not trying to rewrite the American history according to African Americans, or blacks or the Negro experience,” Scales said. “We all want to embrace diversity, but diversity should not come at the expense of telling the history that makes us uncomfortable.”
Posted in Jefferson County Commission

Scales Wants More Money for ClasTran

Commissioner Lashunda Scales wasn’t content to simply talk about approving fiscal 2019 funding for ClasTran. The president pro tem broached the subject of Jefferson County providing more funding to the company charged with providing transportation to many area senior citizens.

“ClasTran, to me, has always been underfunded,” Scales said as she chaired the committee meeting of the Jefferson County Commission. “Not just necessarily with the county but even with the municipal government I just came from. ClasTran provides a very critical part of our transportation that meets the needs of our seniors (and) those individuals who have disabilities.

“We need to try to get to as many of those cities within our county that we can provide this service to,” she continued. “That was my ultimate concern. Those cities that can’t afford it, can we help offset the cost.”
Read more.