Tag: Jefferson County Commission
The Jefferson County Commission used its second emergency meeting of the COVID-19 pandemic to extend the closure of county facilities until April 30 and set up a $1 million COVID-19 fund to handle needs as they arise.
The first $80,750 of that $1 million was used to purchase 55 hospital beds from Jett Medical Company in the event a “surge hospital” must be established. Such a facility will be set up if local hospitals become overcrowded. Read more.
The Jefferson County Commission and Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin declared states of emergency for the county and city Monday in an attempt to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
The County Commission approved an emergency declaration and voted to close county facilities, effective at the end of business on Monday, until April 6. The commission will reevaluate the situation then.
Woodfin, in declaring the state of emergency for the city, suggested that events be limited to attendance of 25 people or less.
The coronavirus is the subject on everyone’s lips, so it likely didn’t surprise Jefferson County Commissioners Jimmie Stephens and Joe Knight when the subject came up recently. The pair addressed questions from media about the county’s preparedness for the deadly virus.
UAB Medicine was cited as a key part of the army that will battle the disease. Watch the interviews.
Jefferson County Commissioner Lashunda Scales took exception to the word “control” in the explanation given today for a resolution to set guidelines for commissioners’ non-emergency use of the Everbridge mass communication system.
“That’s what I don’t agree with,” she said, “to control another commissioner’s district or ability to utilize this system for what they believe (needs to be circulated). Why would we have to bring it to the commission, who may not value what your district values?”
The commission ultimately approved on a 3-1 vote that commissioners will not use the system for non-emergency messages, at least until it has had a chance to meet with the board of the Emergency Management Agency, which administers the system. Read more.
Jefferson County Commission members will vote Thursday on a policy governing non-emergency commission use of the Everbridge mass notification system.
With Commissioner Steve Ammons absent on county business, commissioners voted 3-1 on Tuesday to move the proposal to their meeting agenda. Commissioner Lashunda Scales voted no.
The matter came up when Commissioner Sheila Tyson suggested using the system to inform county residents about details of the 2020 census. Commission President Jimmie Stephens said a resolution needed to be submitted for the system – often associated with weather warnings – to be utilized.
Jefferson County commissioners were taken aback today when they learned during their committee meeting of an effort to establish a department of security for the courthouse.
Commissioner Sheila Tyson suggested the action, which was presented by county manager Tony Petelos. Weeks ago, Commissioner Lashunda Scales suggested that security at the courthouse be beefed up.
Commissioner Joe Knight, the chair of the budget and finance committees, said he was caught off guard by the proposed resolution.
“That’s another department, that’s another staffing,” he said. “We want to know how’s it going to be staffed. How many people do you need? Where are they going to be? And will this transpose over to our criminal court building to help over there with the safety over there across the street?” Read more.
Jefferson County Commissioner Lashunda Scales came across Linn Park today to speak to the Birmingham City Council, pleading for help for what she said are rising instances of crime in the East Precinct. Read more.
Efforts to establish a pair of new Jefferson County Sheriff’s offices in eastern Birmingham are at least on hold until law enforcement leaders in the city and county demonstrate they are in agreement on the move.
Commissioner Lashunda Scales broached a discussion about the offices. They were on the Jefferson County Commission committee agenda as “substations,” but the discussion shifted to them being offices of the Sheriff’s Department’s Violent Crime Victim Unit, which now is based in the Sheriff’s office downtown.
Scales told her fellow commissioners that Tony Serra, owner of Serra Automotive Management, had agreed to lease a pair of buildings to the Sheriff’s Office for $1 per year. Read more.
The question of whether convenience fees will be added to over-the-counter transactions with the Jefferson County Revenue Department will be answered when the County Commission conducts its meeting Thursday at the courthouse in Bessemer.
Outgoing chief financial officer John Henry said nearly two weeks ago that a plan for addressing the shortfall in the Revenue Department’s budget that came because of increased use of credit cards and debit cards would be unveiled at today’s committee meeting.
Henry said the matter goes back to the commission meeting, as it previously had been discussed in committee.
“Because of the way they tabled it, they’ll have to bring it up on Thursday instead of Tuesday,” said Henry. Read more.
John Henry twice said his goodbyes on Thursday – first at his final meeting of the Jefferson County Commission and then at a farewell event in his honor later in the afternoon.
But the final wave goodbye for the county’s chief financial officer will likely be his input in a tabled matter concerning the proposal to add a 1% convenience fee of no less than $1.95 to over-the-counter business conducted by credit or debit card with Jefferson County.
Henry suggested that commissioners table the matter for two weeks so he and Revenue Director Travis Hulsey can find an answer to a revenue department budget shortfall because of the increasing use of credit and debit cards.
“We definitely understand the concerns in reference to the hit to constituents,” the outgoing CFO said. Read more.