Tag: Birmingham City Council
Thirteen people have applied to fill the seat of former Birmingham City Councilor Jay Roberson, who announced his resignation last month. The lineup includes a former board of education president, a handful of candidates who previously ran for the District 7 seat, and a current member of the Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority, among others. Read more.
The eight members of the Birmingham City Council spent much of Tuesday morning’s meeting focused on the daïs’ sole empty chair, stuck on the question of how to replace former President Pro Tempore Jay Roberson.
Roberson, who had represented District 7 on the council since 2009, announced his resignation last month, citing his wife’s new job with Alabaster City Schools. He officially left office Monday, meaning that Tuesday’s meeting was the first in which the remaining members of the council could vote on his replacement.
They didn’t, though. The deadline for applications to fill Roberson’s seat had been extended to Tuesday afternoon. Council President Valerie Abbott attempted unsuccessfully to hold a vote for Roberson’s replacement as president pro tem. Read more.
A little less of Birmingham will be accessible to the public in the wake of Tuesday’s City Council meeting, in which the council ceded two rights-of-way to private companies.
The council also voted to close portions of two downtown streets to make way for the construction of the BJCC’s new open-air stadium.
Of the two rights-of-way discussions, the first — which focused on a stretch of property on the corner of 13th Street South and First Avenue South, near Railroad Park — proved to be the more controversial. Read more.
With this week’s resignation of President Pro Tem Jay Roberson, the Birmingham City Council faces the unusual task of appointing three new members by the end of the year.
Roberson’s resignation takes effect Sept. 10, while Lashunda Scales and Sheila Tyson will resign from the council Nov. 14 to take office as the Jefferson County Commission’s newest members, having been elected earlier this year.
The council’s seven remaining members will have to agree on three replacements for their outgoing colleagues. Historically, the appointment process has been a difficult one, and this year is unlikely to be an exception.
Among issues to be decided by the council are the precise process for selection and how much outgoing council members should have to say about who is selected as their replacements. Even how long the new councilors will serve is up in the air. Generally, appointees serve until the next city election, which in this case is 2021. But if a special city referendum being considered is called early next year, the appointees who want to continue on the council will be running in just a few months. Read more.
Birmingham City Council delayed plans for rezoning the city’s West End community at Tuesday’s meeting, citing concerns that the city had not effectively communicated with residents.
Two West End residents — Oakwood Place Neighborhood Association Secretary Nell Allen and resident Samuel Mills — said the rezoning plan the council was being asked to vote on significantly differed from what city planners promised residents at recent neighborhood association meetings. Both Allen and Mills said that properties zoned as single-use residential were being rezoned despite protests from residents.
“We had a meeting, and it was told to us that the changes would be made before we came to the city council this morning,” Mills said. “We really don’t want this.” Read more.
Two small residential properties in Birmingham’s Druid Hills neighborhood took on much larger significance during Tuesday’s City Council meeting, as a chaotic debate over whether they should be rezoned to accommodate their owners’ legal practice ballooned into a discussion of the economic future of Birmingham’s black neighborhoods. Read more.
For the second week in a row, the Birmingham City Council found itself mired in a debate over the proposed closure of an Ensley gas station where three homicides have occurred.
In contrast to July 24’s meeting, though, the discussion Tuesday was more procedural than emotional, with District 8 Councilor Steven Hoyt launching what he characterized as a “protest” against the public safety committee’s decision to keep the matter from coming before the full council.
The Shell station in question is located on the 800 block of Third Avenue West in Ensley — which is in Hoyt’s district — and has been the site of three homicides since 2015. Most recently, Antonio Jerrell Taylor was shot and killed there on June 10.
Tempers flared on the Birmingham City Council during Tuesday’s meeting over a proposal to revoke the business license of a gas station where several people have been killed.
Item 53 on the council’s agenda would have revoked the business license of the Shell station on the 800 block of Third Avenue W. The station of three shootings.
District 8 Councilor Steven Hoyt, whose district includes the Shell station in question, unilaterally placed the item on the meeting’s agenda despite the recommendation of the council’s public safety committee, which is headed by District 2 Councilor Hunter Williams, to keep the issue of the gas station in committee.
The committee voted during its July 17 meeting to keep the station open after an attorney for the business owner, Mohamed Nasher, presented a safety plan that included extra “no loitering signs,” additional security from off-duty police officers, and an increase in cameras and lighting at the gas station. The station will remain under committee review for a year. Read more.
The Birmingham City Council has approved a 60-day period of amnesty for outstanding minor traffic, parking and non-moving violation tickets. Read more.
Security in Birmingham City Schools will be getting a boost this fall, after the Birmingham City Council voted Tuesday to allocate $3,665,000 in funding to the city Board of Education.
According to the agreement, which was passed unanimously, that funding will be divided among school security, academic and athletic support, and after-school care and summer enrichment programs.
Of that $3,665,000 — which comes from the city’s general fund — $1,362,000 will go toward the purchase of 14 walk-through metal detectors, 20 handheld scanners, door alarms, security officers, and crossing guards and substitutes.