Tag: Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin
This is the first in a series of three articles looking at the first year of Randall Woodfin’s tenure as mayor.
When Randall Woodfin was inaugurated as mayor of Birmingham on Nov. 28, 2017, he took time during his speech to address the city’s high rate of gun violence — an “epidemic,” he said, that had been steadily rising since 2015.
“My heart is with every family who has lost a loved one to murder in our city,” he told the crowd assembled in front of City Hall. “My prayers, my energy, my sympathy and my empathy — we have to do something. … We have to better police our city, and in better policing our city, it is going to take this entire community to feel empowered where you live, to make sure we are protecting our neighbors. We have had enough of violence in our city, and I stand before you today to let you know, I can show you better than I can tell you, it will be different.”
The numbers for Woodfin’s first year in office don’t look much different from 2017. At the time of his inauguration, the city had logged 104 homicides for the year; that number would later rise to 117 by year’s end. As of Nov. 28, 2018, there have been 102 homicides in Birmingham for the year.
But if the statistics are the same, the city’s approach to lowering them has been gradually changing under Woodfin’s watch, though we won’t know the full specifics of his administration’s strategy, he said, until later this year. Read more.
Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin addressed city employees Wednesday, acknowledging “serious challenges” facing the city’s pension system and urging the pension board to begin working with him on solutions immediately.
“For years, this issue has not been handled,” Woodfin said in a letter released alongside a video address. “If we act now, there is time to correct this problem, protect our employees and avoid a financial crisis for the city.”
According to Woodfin, the city’s unfunded pension liability stands at $378 million, which means that the city will need to contribute $378 million more than it already does to the pension fund over the next 30 years. Read more.
Mayor Randall Woodfin called for greater civility between his office and Birmingham City Council on Tuesday, following weeks of escalating tension. The tension culminated with Woodfin and most of his staff being absent from the council’s Oct. 30 meeting.
While calling for civility, Woodfin also announced plans to reduce his staff’s presence at council meetings. He said this is an effort to improve efficiency and to spend more time on community outreach.
Last week’s absence of Woodfin and his staff drew considerable criticism from councilors, some of whom called it “a slap in the face to the constituents of the 99 neighborhoods.” Read more.
Exactly one year after his election, Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin has released a strategic plan providing an update on his administration’s progress and setting new goals for the remainder of his first term. The plan, which was released publicly Wednesday afternoon, features “a detailed set of enterprise initiatives and major projects for the City of Birmingham,” Woodfin wrote in the plan’s introduction.
The plan shares its name, The Woodfin Way, with the report from Woodfin’s transition committee, released in March.
The new plan is a result, Woodfin said, of findings from that report, as well as a labor report from private data company Burning Glass Technologies, a comprehensive framework plan, and a performance assessment from private consulting firm Crowe Horwath. Read more.
Birmingham residents can now see detailed financial reports for the city at its new Open Checkbook portal. The website is part of the effort to increase transparency and accountability in city government, according to a press release from the city. Read more.
Two big economic development projects in Birmingham may pay off for city neighborhoods. Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin announced a program Wednesday to spend $1 million on home renovations in blighted neighborhoods.
The program will improve 100 homes in 100 days. Woodfin said the money comes from the sale of two city properties: a downtown parking deck after the grocery delivery company Shipt expanded, and the site of a new data center planned near Sixth Avenue South in North Titusville. Read more.
May 14, 2018 – Mayor Randall Woodfin was not present Monday night at the public hearing on his proposed FY 2019 budget. If he had been, he would have faced complaints from a handful of organizations unhappy that their city funding had been cut or eliminated entirely.
The members of the City Council who were there — all but District 1 Councilor Lashunda Scales — appeared sympathetic to almost all of the parties who spoke at the hearing, and they even pledged to some organizations that they would advocate for them during the upcoming budget negotiations with Woodfin’s office.
Eliciting the most sympathy from the council were several neighborhood association officers, led by Central Park Neighborhood Association President Susan Palmer, who expressed anger that the new budget would cut funding to neighborhoods. Read more.
Mayor Randall Woodfin revealed his proposal for the city’s FY 2019 budget during Tuesday’s meeting of the Birmingham City Council.
At just more than $436 million, it’s the city’s largest budget to date, clocking in at nearly $7 million more than that of the previous year. As the first budget proposal created entirely during Woodfin’s time as mayor, it is the clearest representation of his nascent administration’s economic goals to date.
“It’s a new day in Birmingham,” Woodfin told the council, “not just through the budget process, but with the way we spend and oversee the tax dollars entrusted to us.” The budget, he added, “represents some difficult and responsible decisions that must be made to support our priorities,” most significantly neighborhood revitalization. Read more.
March 8 marked the 100th day of Randall Woodfin’s first term as mayor of Birmingham — a major benchmark for any newly elected politician. Woodfin spent much of last year’s campaign laying out his plan for this first stretch of his tenure in office, in opinion columns, on his website and along the campaign trail.
It was an ambitious slate of objectives to accomplish in just more than three months: conduct an audit, eliminate nepotism, increase neighborhoods’ input in the budgeting process and assess a wide variety of issues facing the city through a citizen-led transition team, among many others.
Now, nearly two weeks after the 100-day benchmark, those goals remain in various stages of realization. Some of them, such as the audit and the appointment of a LGBT liaison to the mayor’s staff, are nearing completion, with announcements, Woodfin said, coming soon. But others remain farther down the road, some dependent on the results of the audit, which is slated to be completed in early April, and others dependent on the slow-turning wheels of city government.
Woodfin spoke with BirminghamWatch on Wednesday about which campaign promises his administration has been able to meet, which ones it hasn’t, and his outlook on his term so far.
Read the Q&A.
March 15, 2018 — Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin is slated to present his transition team’s reports this evening at the Alabama Theatre during an event commemorating his first 100 days in office.
Woodfin’s transition team is led by former Birmingham-Southern College President Charles Krulak and former Alabama Power executive Bobbie Knight. It consists of five citizen-led committees focusing on various priorities in Woodfin’s administration: neighborhood revitalization and public safety, education and workforce development, transparency and efficient government, entrepreneurship and economic development, and social justice.
In the weeks following Woodfin’s inauguration, the committees held public meetings to gauge citizens’ concerns, the results of which were published on Woodfin’s campaign website. Reports from follow-up meetings among city officials and transition teams will be the focus of Thursday evening’s event. Read more.