Tag: Birmingham City Council

Birmingham’s Human Rights Law Set for Tuesday Public Hearing

Efforts to pass a nondiscrimination ordinance in Birmingham are once again underway.

The long-delayed measure, first introduced by City Council President Johnathan Austin in March 2013, will be the subject of a public hearing during the Sept. 26 meeting of the City Council – and now, for the first time, it has the backing of Mayor William Bell.

The City of Birmingham Non-Discrimination Ordinance, colloquially referred to as a human rights ordinance, would put into place protections against discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or familial status. Violators of the ordinance would face up to a $500 fine.

The ordinance also would establish an 11-member Human Rights Commission. Read more.

Questions About Protection of the Drinking Water Supply Dominate Debate On Northeast Birmingham Zoning Plan

Sep. 19, 2017 — The Birmingham City Council approved Tuesday a measure to change zoning district lines in parts of northeast Birmingham despite criticism that some of the changes could endanger water quality in Lake Purdy and the Cahaba River, both essential drinking water sources.

City officials said they are taking steps to protect the watershed and are preparing conservation easements for that land. Read more.

Much Ado About a Do; Birmingham City Council Clashes Over Inauguration

Sept. 13, 2017 — After postponing its regularly scheduled meeting due to the threat of inclement weather, the Birmingham City Council convened for a special-called meeting on Wednesday. Though the rules of special-called meetings prevented the council from voting on most of the planned items on the agenda, the council found room for a spirited

Northeast Birmingham Zoning Delayed After Discussion of Conservation Easements

Protracted discussion over proposed zoning changes to northeast Birmingham led to a two-week delay in the Birmingham City Council considering them during its meeting Tuesday. These proposed changes would affect the East Pinson Valley, Huffman, Cahaba and Roebuck/South East Lake communities as part of the Northeast Framework Plan. Many of the proposed changes were “name-only,”

Birmingham City Council Continues Questioning of House-Building Contract

Aug. 29, 2017 — An ongoing debate over a District 9 construction contract dominated Tuesday’s meeting of the Birmingham City Council, though the only outcome was the promise of more debate.

Outgoing Councilor Marcus Lundy continued his criticisms of Bethel Ensley Action Task, an organization that had been contracted by the city to build two houses in Lundy’s district over two years — a project Lundy says remains unfinished.

Tuesday’s discussion centered on a proposed resolution, which appeared as a late addendum to the meeting’s agenda, to rescind another contract with BEAT that the council had adopted earlier this year. That contract would allocate a further $1.5 million for BEAT to construct nine more three-bedroom, two-bathroom houses in the Enon Ridge community, where the two houses from the previous contract had been built. Lundy said the proposal to rescind the second contract was based on allegations BEAT failed to fulfill the first. Instead, he argued, the second contract should be opened to bids from other contractors. Read more.

Six Incumbents Win Re-Election to the Birmingham City Council, Three Races Will Be Decided in Runoffs

Voters on Tuesday chose to keep the Birmingham City Council’s current lineup mostly intact. Six councilors won re-election outright, while two more garnered enough votes to head to a runoff.

The one council seat without an incumbent vying for re-election also is headed to a runoff — though with a familiar face in the lead. Read more.

Winners in Tuesday’s Birmingham city election and candidates headed for runoffs:

Mayor Randall Woodfin                15,656            40.84% William Bell Sr. (I)              14,011            36.55%   Council District 1 Lashunda Scales (I)              2,384          68%    Council District 2 Kimberly Rafferty (I)               488             17% Hunter Williams                   1,053            38%   Council District 3 Valerie Abbott (I)                    2,547           65%   Council District 4

Finishing Strong: Birmingham City Councilor Lundy Sets up Challenges Over Slow Development in Enon Ridge, Insufficient Minority Participation in Contracts

Aug. 22, 2017 — The only voice of contention at Tuesday’s Birmingham City Council meeting happened to come from the one councilor not on the election ballot.

District 9 Councilor Marcus Lundy, who is not seeking re-election, followed through on his promise last week to “finish strong” by challenging the mayor on various development projects — particularly the housing development at Enon Ridge, a neighborhood in Lundy’s district.

Mayor William Bell remained silent, not looking up from his desk as Lundy questioned him over allegations that Bethel-Ensley Action Task, a contractor with the city, had not finished two houses in Enon Ridge over the course of two years. Read more.

Confederate Monument in Linn Park Covered in Wake of Virginia Protests

Aug. 15, 2017 — Mayor William Bell had a Confederate monument outside Birmingham City Hall obscured by a wooden barrier Tuesday night while efforts are made to remove it.

But the state’s attorney general quickly sued the city and the mayor, saying the move violated a state law passed in the spring that says monuments more than 40 years old cannot be altered without approval from a new commission.

The topic of removing the statute was brought up during the Tuesday morning City Council meeting. Council President Johnathan Austin had called on Bell to remove the monument and others like it in Birmingham, calling them “offensive” and saying they “celebrate racism, bigotry, hate and all those things that the South has been known for. Read more.

Birmingham Council Delays Capital Projects for Lack of a Budget, Debates Unfulfilled Contracts

In its last regular meeting before next week’s municipal elections, the Birmingham City Council spent most of its time Tuesday directing key concerns on a variety of subjects toward Mayor William Bell.
The most notable of those discussions were about the still-unpassed FY 2018 budget and an unfulfilled construction contract. Read more.