Birmingham punished for being in Alabama

Metropolitan Birmingham

Metropolitan Birmingham (Wikipedia)

One of the greatest obstacles to metropolitan Birmingham’s growth is too many competing governments, but that’s not the only deterrent.

Being located in Alabama is also an obstacle.

The Birmingham Business Alliance (BBA) publishes a report that compares key economic figures of metropolitan Birmingham to eleven peer cities.

In my opinion, the most important of these key metrics is job growth.  And metropolitan Birmingham has no more jobs than they had before the recession. Continue reading

Posted in Alabama Constitution, David Sher posts, Government structure, UAB | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

UAB deserves better from Birmingham

UAB MascotWhen our Chamber of Commerce (BBA) visited Charlotte in 2004, we were greeted by the President of the University of North Carolina Charlotte.

Charlotte’s a city on fire, but the first words out the President’s mouth were, “We don’t have anything like UAB.”

Can you believe a great city like Charlotte is jealous of us?

But it appears by recent events we may be taking UAB for granted.

It’s been a few weeks since UAB decided to retain its football program, so I thought it might be healthy to take a moment to reflect. Continue reading

Posted in David Sher posts, UAB | Tagged , , | 18 Comments

Grinney and Krulak agree on how to fix Birmingham

Jay Grinney, President & CEO HealthSouth Corporation

Jay Grinney, President & CEO HealthSouth Corporation

Metropolitan Birmingham is the only one of our peer cities to lose jobs from 2001-2010 and from 2011-2013 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Many folks feel the reason for our poor job performance is too many competing  governments.

Why don’t we do something about it?

Because most people feel some sort of government consolidation is impossible.

However, two of Birmingham’s most respected leaders agree that change is critical to our future.   Continue reading

Posted in David Sher posts, Government structure | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

New energetic Birmingham: Not just for young folks

Janice James Eubank

Janice James Eubank

ComebackTown is published by David Sher to begin a discussion on a better Birmingham.

Today’s guest blogger is Janice James Eubank.  If you’d like to be a guest blogger, please click here.

We recently had family visiting in town. Although they are native ‘Hamians’….they most recently lived out of the country but wanted to see the “old town,” with an emphasis on seeing loft locations in Birmingham. We only had an afternoon with them, so we packed in a loaded agenda ending the night at Highland’s Bar and Grill with Goren Avery, “Gastro Concierge Extraordinaire”. Continue reading

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How to extort money from City of Homewood

Target

Homewood gave Target $10 million in incentives to open store at Brookwood Village

We have a little game us business people play in Birmingham—and we’re darn good at it.

When it’s time to renew the lease on our building—we go to our home city or surrounding cities and demand money.

And it’s so easy to do.  There are 35+ municipalities in Jefferson County and if you are large enough or important enough—some local government will throw money at you. Continue reading

Posted in Corporate community, David Sher posts, Government structure | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Bayer and Sher don’t have a prayer

Jeffrey Bayer, President & CEO Bayer Properties

Jeffrey Bayer, President & CEO Bayer Properties

Here’s a story about POWER and Jeffrey Bayer.

On November 14, Jeffrey Bayer, President and CEO of Bayer Properties, and I were scheduled to deliver a speech about regional governance at a symposium of Birmingham area commercial real estate professionals (CCIM).

The Harbert Center was dark when we arrived.  The lights and electricity were off and the escalator to the upper floors was motionless.  There had been an traffic accident killing the power to the Harbert Center and nearby buildings. Continue reading

Posted in David Sher posts, Government structure | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

Other cities have horrible flags – what about Birmingham?

Matthew Hamilton

Matthew Hamilton

ComebackTown is published by David Sher to begin a discussion on a better Birmingham.

Today’s guest blogger is Matthew Hamilton.  If you’d like to be a guest blogger, please click here.

The American flag has been a symbol of our nation’s identity, strength, and unity for more than 200 years.

Our flag often elicits some of our deepest emotions—making us feel passion and pride.

Did you know that most major cities – including Birmingham – also have their own flag?  But have you ever felt pride for our city because of our flag?  Continue reading

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Mt. Brook mini-crime spree

CrimeI’ve lived most of my life in the over the mountain communities of Mt. Brook and Vestavia Hills. I’ve worked most of my life in the City of Birmingham—primarily downtown.

I’ve never felt unsafe in the suburbs or in Birmingham.

Thanks to the resurgence of downtown, I now often find myself downtown in the evenings.  I’m usually more concerned about finding a parking place at night than I am about being a crime victim.

So it’s kind of surreal to watch a mini-crime spree unfold in Mt.Brook. Continue reading

Posted in David Sher posts, Government structure | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

The University of Alabama does not exist

The University of Alabama Board of Trustees Seal

University of Alabama Board of Trustees Seal

A good friend came rushing up to me as I entered the Harbert Center for a meeting.  He said, “I just found out something I bet you don’t know— “The University of Alabama doesn’t exist.”

Now I’ve heard some farfetched things in my life, but few topped this one.

But before all you anti University of Alabama folks from UAB and UAH get too excited, he explained that you don’t exist either.

Continue reading

Posted in Alabama Constitution, David Sher posts, Government structure, UAB | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Nashville whipping Birmingham’s butt

Nashville

Nashville

I’m jealous.

I recently read a piece in the Nashville Business Journal that made me ill.

The nausea was amplified by the memories of a humiliating Birmingham Regional Chamber of Commerce (BBA) trip I took with about one hundred corporate, community, and political leaders to Nashville ten years ago.

None of us were prepared for the way we were mistreated.  One Nashville speaker called us racists; another attacked our healthcare industry; and third referred to Birmingham as ‘Bombingham.’  (Nashville spits on Birmingham)

Continue reading

Posted in David Sher posts, Government structure, Population | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments