Tag: Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin

Woodfin’s Budget Proposal Would Increase Police Funding, Fund City Pay Raises, Neighborhood Revitalization, Transportation and Other Services

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin presented his “whopping” FY 2023 budget proposal to the City Council on Tuesday, describing it as a reflection of “an unprecedented time of investment and growth” for the city.

The $517 million budget is up roughly $61.5 million from last year’s budget, which at the time was the city’s largest-ever. Most of that money, Woodfin said, came from increases in business tax revenues — particularly business license revenue, which are projected to rise $23 million compared to last year. As a result, Woodfin said, “appropriations are up across the board.”

Roughly two-thirds of the budget would go toward personnel costs — a priority for Woodfin’s administration during the COVID-19 pandemic. Neighborhood revitalization, another of the mayor’s key issues, is also a focus, with $2 million earmarked for blight removal, $1.5 million for weed abatement and $15 million for street resurfacing.

The biggest increase in revenue would go to the Birmingham Police Department, which would receive $118.5 million — up $18 million from last year. Read more.

Woodfin’s Budget Proposal Would Increase Police Funding, Fund City Pay Raises, Neighborhood Revitalization and Other Services

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin presented his “whopping” FY 2023 budget proposal to the City Council on Tuesday, describing it as a reflection of “an unprecedented time of investment and growth” for the city.

The $517 million budget is up roughly $61.5 million from last year’s budget, which at the time was the city’s largest-ever. Most of that money, Woodfin said, came from increases in business tax revenues — particularly business license revenue, which are projected to rise $23 million compared to last year. As a result, Woodfin said, “appropriations are up across the board.”

Roughly two-thirds of the budget would go toward personnel costs — a priority for Woodfin’s administration during the COVID-19 pandemic. Neighborhood revitalization, another of the mayor’s key issues, is also a focus, with $2 million earmarked for blight removal, $1.5 million for weed abatement and $15 million for street resurfacing.

The biggest increase in revenue would go to the Birmingham Police Department, which would receive $118.5 million — up $18 million from last year. Read more.

Birmingham Dismisses Tickets Issued Before 2011

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin has announced pardons for more than 756,000 outstanding traffic and parking violations that were issued before Jan. 1, 2011. Woodfin characterized the initiative, called Stop and Go — an acronym for Suspend Traffic Obligations Permanently & Grant Opportunities — as a “second chance” for residents living under the threat of fines or arrest. Read more.

Birmingham Mayor Promises Raise for Police in Next Budget

Mayor Randall Woodfin has promised Birmingham police officers a raise in the city’s next fiscal year.

“Officers are feeling a considerable amount of pressure over not being appreciated,” Woodfin said during Tuesday’s City Council meeting, which was attended by several “concerned” off-duty police officers.

Woodfin mentioned stressors on the police department, including smaller recruitment classes and growing retirement rates, as well as the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s not just our police,” he said. “Our fire department, public works and general service employees all feel the pinch. (But) what’s unique about these men and women that you see (here) is that they were not afforded the opportunity to take off over the last two years. They were not afforded some other things other employees received because they’re on the front line of public safety. As an administration, I know this council (agrees). We as an administration agree, they deserve a raise. They’re going to get a raise.” Read more.

Birmingham Mayor Woodfin Sworn in for a Second Term

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin began his second term in office Tuesday, continuing his tenure as the city’s 30th mayor. The inauguration took place at Linn Park on a stage in front of city hall with the American flag and the mayor’s image as backdrop.

Jefferson County Judge Ruby Davis swore in Woodfin, who was accompanied by his mother, Cynthia Woodfin-Kellum. In a 20-minute speech, he spoke about his administration’s accomplishments over the past four years, such as investing in infrastructure and creating the Birmingham Promise college scholarship and apprenticeship program. He talked about continuing to reimagine public safety in the next four years, wanting to create opportunities for citizens to live their best lives and make Birmingham the best city it can be. Read more.

Woodfin Reelected Birmingham Mayor in Landslide

As the newly reelected mayor of Birmingham stepped to the stage upstairs at The Fennec in the Parkside District, a few hundred people chanted, “We’re With Woodfin,” and “Four More Years.”

Indeed, they were with Randall Woodfin at the ballot box on Tuesday. As a result, the incumbent pushed aside seven challengers and earned another four-year term in office.

“The energy in this room tonight doesn’t reflect me,” he said. “It reflects us. The energy in this room is the definition of Team Birmingham.”

In total, 36,790 Birmingham residents went to the polls Tuesday, for a voter turnout of 25.27%.

Incumbents did well in the City Council election, with six of the nine incumbent councilors being returned to their seats outright and two more heading to an Oct. 5 runoff. Incumbents on the city’s board of education didn’t fare as well. Read more.

Strong Campaign Propels Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin to a Second Term (WBHM)

2021 Birmingham City Election Results

Birmingham Council Passes the City’s Largest Budget Ever

The Birmingham City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to approve Mayor Randall Woodfin’s FY 2022 budget, making no changes to the proposal presented to them in May.

The $455.5 million budget is the city’s largest to date, indicating a predicted recovery from COVID-19’s impact on last year’s revenues. Woodfin has emphasized that the budget shows the city’s commitment to its employees, including a restoration of merit raises and longevity pay; and its allocations to neighborhood revitalization, including millions for street paving, blight demolition and weed abatement.

The budget does not include the $74 million in federal relief funding from the American Rescue Plan that the city received last month; it will receive a further $74 million next May.

Woodfin told reporters last month that the budget “doesn’t have any pain points” compared to the previous year, which had seen the city reduce or zero out its contributions to various external organizations, including the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Railroad Park Foundation and Alabama Symphony.

Those organizations were restored to their FY 2020 funding with the new budget, with two notable exceptions. The Birmingham Zoo and Rickwood Field were still allocated COVID-reduced funding — $500,000 for the zoo, down from FY 2020’s $1.9 million; and $50,000 to Rickwood, down from FY 2020’s $150,211. Read more.

$125,000 Fund Set Up for Rewards in Shootings of Children

On May 18, Katrina Grady, a nursing assistant for more than 20 years, stopped on the side of Warrior Road to provide aid to what she believed was an injured person in a car. The car was empty, and Grady’s family came under fire.

Her 8-year-old daughter, Katilynn, was hit by a rifle bullet and injured in the shoulder and head. Grady was told by doctors that it was a miracle she was alive. “The doctors told me that if she had moved her head any other kind of way, it would have been another situation right now,” Grady said.

Tuesday, Grady stood before a crowd at a press conference arranged by Mayor Randall Woodfin and made an emotional plea for change as her daughter stood off to the side.

Woodfin announced formation of a $125,000 Gun Violence Against Children Fund, a collaboration with more than 20 churches and organizations to combat gun violence against children in the city. Crime Stoppers will administer the fund to pay $25,000 in reward money for information leading to the arrest of individuals responsible in each of five cases involving children under the age of 10. Arrests already have been made in a sixth case involving another child.

“Never in a million years would I have expected something like that to happen,” Grady told the crowd. “For six kids to get shot, we’ve got to do better. Somebody knows who (did) this to my child and I want justice. It hurt me more than anything.” Read more.

Woodfin Promises “Recovery and Restoration” With Proposed FY 2022 Budget

Looking at Mayor Randall Woodfin’s proposed budget for the 2022 fiscal year, it’d be easy to imagine that COVID-19 — and the havoc it wreaked on Birmingham’s city coffers — had never happened.

This year’s budget had dropped by nearly $29 million, largely the result of diminished business tax revenues. Woodfin’s proposed FY 2022 budget, by contrast, is the city’s largest to date. At $455.5 million, it’s nearly $3 million more than the pre-pandemic, $452.8 million FY 2020 budget.

In a call with reporters Monday afternoon, Woodfin said the budget “doesn’t have any pain points,” in contrast to the austerity of the previous year. And though city finance director Lester Smith stopped short of saying the city had made a full financial recovery — revenue from business licenses is down about $5 million from last year — the proposed budget casts a rosy light on the city’s post-COVID future. Read more.

Woodfin Won’t Resign in Controversy Over Police Shooting

Mayor Randall Woodfin said he will not resign despite Black Lives Matter Birmingham’s calls for him to do so following last month’s police killing of Desmon Montez Ray Jr.

Ray, 28, was killed by police on Easter Sunday as they responded to a domestic dispute call in north Birmingham. After a chase, officers say Ray fired a gun at police as he exited his vehicle; they returned fire, killing him.

After criticism from Ray’s family and local activists, Birmingham Police Chief Patrick D. Smith released three videos — from officers’ body cameras and a neighbor’s security camera — showing the shooting.

On Monday, Black Lives Matter Birmingham called the release of the videos “unacceptable.” Read more.