Tag: Jefferson County Commission
Jefferson County Commission President Jimmie Stephens and President Pro Tem Lashunda Scales are often on opposite sides of discussions.
In Thursday’s commission meeting, they once again wound up on different sides of the fence, but their sentiments were not as far apart as they might have appeared.
Stephens pulled for separate consideration resolutions allotting $100,000 apiece to Alabama A&M and Alabama State universities. That money is to assist in the promotion of the annual Magic City Classic football game.
Scales, Sheila Tyson and Joe Knight voted for the actions. Stephens abstained and Steve Ammons was absent. Read more.
Two high-ranking leaders from UAB today asked Jefferson County to invest with the Southside institution in making the Altec/Styslinger Genomic Medicine and Data Sciences Building a reality.
UAB President Ray Watts and Dr. Selwyn Vickers, the senior vice president for medicine and dean of the School of Medicine, asked commissioners during their committee meeting to consider putting $1 million per year for five years into the $70 million project.
The 140,000-square-foot building will house more than 50 research operations, which the pair said will produce annual revenue of $35 million to $55 million, or a total of $175 million to $300 million over five years.
But, they said, it’s not just about the money. Watts said the work there will lay the foundation for health care for the future of Birmingham, Jefferson County and beyond. Read more.
The recently passed fiscal 2020 budget was the subject of some terse discussion during the Jefferson County Commission’s committee meeting Tuesday.
Commissioner Joe Knight offered a resolution to move $250,000 from demolition to reserves and another $250,000 that had been listed in the public service fund to a project fund for transit.
Knight said there was no new money. The transit money was already there, he said.
The proposal prompted a lengthy discussion that addressed the lack of demolitions of derelict house and the prospect of 15 being torn done this year. Read more.
Commissioner Lashunda Scales today asked for an update on Protective Stadium, which is being built near the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex.
Jefferson County invested $30 million in the project.
Scales said she had been told by someone on the stadium design committee that VIP seats are being added that would lower the total number of seats in the venue.
Also, commissioners saw a presentation from Helen Hays, the county’s director of public information, concerning efforts to promote the 200th anniversary of Jefferson County, including a pair of videos.
While the presentation appeared to be well received from most in the board room, Scales was less than satisfied, saying that the county’s story was not being fully told. She cited a Sloss Furnaces event on Monday that memorialized two men who were lynched in the 1890s. Read more.
Jefferson County Commissioners learned during their committee meeting Monday that the county is on the hook for more than $1 million in back payments for Medicare and Medicaid that was overpaid when Cooper Green was a hospital.
The situation was uncovered as the result of an audit ordered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services. The problem dates back to 2008. Read more.
A trio of Jefferson County commissioners met today with the Birmingham Water Works Board, asking the board to consider matching the county’s $1.25 million commitment to help residents who struggle with rising water and sewer rates. Read more.
When the last of the Jefferson County Commission’s budget hearings were complete Thursday, commissioners decided on a nonbinding, nonpartisan 3-2 vote to support the support budget for 2020, which allots discretionary funds to commissioners as well as money for transit, sewer fee assistance and other programs.
Finance Chairman Joe Knight, a Republican, voted with Democratic commissioners Lashunda Scales and Sheila Tyson in favor of the action. Commission President Jimmie Stephens and Commissioner Steve Ammons voted no.
The complete budget will be considered for official approval at the commission’s Aug. 8 meeting. Read more.
County Manager Tony Petelos will have to try again next time in his effort to be able to hire and fire contract physicians at Cooper Green Mercy Health System because the matter was blocked from consideration at today’s meeting of the Jefferson County Commission.
Because the resolution was presented as new business, all commissioners had to agree to consider it at their meeting at the Bessemer Courthouse. Commissioners Lashunda Scales and Sheila Tyson voted no, thus keeping it from being introduced into the meeting.
It is the second time this week the matter has come before the panel.
The proposal was initially a late add to the commission’s committee meeting Tuesday at the courthouse in Birmingham. That discussion ended with commissioners saying they needed to hear more before giving the county manager the ability to hire and fire contracted doctors at its clinic for indigent health care.
Update: The commission in its Thursday meeting approved the nominations as introduced.
The Jefferson County Commission voted Tuesday on the commissioners they intend to nominate to the UAB Healthcare Authority and Sheila Tyson, chair of the committee dealing with Cooper Green Mercy Health System, was not included.
A majority of commissioners agreed that chief financial officer John Henry should be recommended for a 2-year term, and county manager Tony Petelos and Commissioner Joe Knight to 1-year terms.
“I see the good ole boy network is still alive,” Tyson said. “If they wanted to start a road committee out of the gas tax and they didn’t want you (Stephens) on there and you are the chair of roads and transportation, you would have a problem with that. But it’s all right not to put me on the committee where I sit and have been working on.”
Tuesday’s vote was not final but will go before commissioners again Thursday. Read more.
Less than a week after the Jefferson County Commission hired a deputy director at Cooper Green Mercy Health System, Executive Director Armika Berkley today resigned from her position. Her last day is Aug. 16.
Efforts to reach Berkley were unsuccessful.
County manager Tony Petelos acknowledged receipt of the letter and said Berkley’s resignation has been accepted. He said the resignation was unanticipated.
“She’s just moving on,” Petelos told BirminghamWatch. “She’s been with us over two years now. We were very fortunate to have her during this period of time.
“It’s been difficult at Cooper Green over the past several years with the work that’s going on and the lack of staff that we have,” he said. “We’ve lost some key positions over there.” Read more.