Tag Archives: jefferson county

Something strange at Jefferson County Courthouse

Jefferson County Courthouse
Jefferson County Courthouse

Oh no!

I had to go to the Jefferson County Courthouse to transact some business.

Based on my previous experiences, I would rather have a ‘root canal.’

The last time I went to the courthouse there were people lined up around the block. The hallways were filled with angry folks with tempers flaring.

Some citizens were compelled to hire surrogates to stand in line so they wouldn’t have to miss a day of work to transfer a license tag. Continue reading Something strange at Jefferson County Courthouse

National publication embarrasses Birmingham

Railroad Park--One of many recent Birmingham successes
Railroad Park–One of many recent Birmingham successes

I love to read positive national stories about Birmingham…and there have been a lot of them lately.

So I couldn’t wait to read the article in City Lab titled, “How Birmingham thrived despite a county bankruptcy in Alabama’s largest city–a story of economic confidence in an unlikely place.

“A story of economic confidence in an unlikely place.”

Yes, the piece bragged about Birmingham.  It described how we’ve thrived since the Jefferson County’s bankruptcy.

But then the author hit us in the face with a pie… Continue reading National publication embarrasses Birmingham

How we in Jefferson County got screwed

Jefferson CountyWhat’s wrong with Jefferson County?

We  suffered through a very public bankruptcy and then had a parade of County Commissioners convicted of crimes–with many serving jail time.

We’re now paying the price with punishing sewer rates that are projected to increase for the next 40 years.

How did we get ourselves into this mess?

Are Jefferson County politicians more corrupt than others? Continue reading How we in Jefferson County got screwed

No need for Birmingham to be a media laughingstock

Even Vulcan is embarrassed--drawing by Adam Stermer
Even Vulcan is embarrassed–drawing by Adam Stermer

I’ve agonized whether to publish this piece about our region’s propensity for humiliation.

One of my best friends warned me, “Why bring it up?…move on and forget it.”

I think we can be fairly certain, however, we are just around the corner from another embarrassment, and another, and another.

You probably think I’m going to write about fights at City Hall, pricey cell phone bills, or unexpected City Council pay increases, but Birmingham politics is only the tip of the iceberg. Continue reading No need for Birmingham to be a media laughingstock

The hole in Jefferson County no one seems to know about

HoleWhere are they?

At first I thought they had moved to surrounding counties—and some did, but that’s not the hole story.

It’s common knowledge that Jefferson County’s population is stagnant—but I got curious about the details.

According to the 2010 Census, Jefferson County lost .5% of its population from 2000-2010– 662,047 to 658,466.

Not a big deal –we only lost 3,581 people.

But then I found the hole. Continue reading The hole in Jefferson County no one seems to know about

Time for our old Birmingham leadership to croak

CasketThe above title is not my quote because I would be one of the “croakers,” but it’s something I hear from the younger generation regularly.  Okay, they may not use the word, “croak,” but they say it’s time for our old leadership to step aside.

The next generation of Birmingham leaders does not understand our racial divide.  They grew up in a different time and they see the possibilities and advantages of a common vision.

Steve Boswell, a young professional, in his guest blog characterized our older citizens and leaders as ‘doubters’—“a group who believe the racial divide has evolved into an immortal chasm that will not be bridged.” Continue reading Time for our old Birmingham leadership to croak

David Carrington: “I don’t care!”

Jefferson County Commissioner David Carrington with Commission President Jimmy Stephens
Jefferson County Commissioner David Carrington with Commission President Jimmie Stephens

I wrote most of this piece about Commissioner Carrington a few months ago, but did not publish it for fear it would appear too political.

Now that the Jefferson County Commission election is over, I feel more comfortable making my comments.  Commissioner Carrington has been reelected and Commissioner Jimmie Stephens has been elected President.

I’m not saying Commissioner Carrington is better or worse than any other commissioner–I just happen to know David better.  I do feel strongly that our County Commission–though not perfect–did a credible job with the hand it was dealt. Continue reading David Carrington: “I don’t care!”

The worst thing to happen to America and Birmingham

Alabama's 6th Congressional District
Alabama’s 6th Congressional District

I attended Gary Palmer’s victory celebration at the Birmingham Marriott and I was blinded by the “white.”  There may have been an African-American there, but I didn’t see one.  This should not be a surprise since Alabama’s 6th Congressional District is 88.8% white and 7.7% African-American. Continue reading The worst thing to happen to America and Birmingham

This number will scare the bejeebies out of you

Birmingham job growthDo you have bejeebies?

If you do, your bejeebies will be obliterated when you see the one  depressing statistic that best describes the economic health of metropolitan Birmingham.

Please note we’re not talking about just the City of Birmingham or Jefferson County.  We’re talking about the Birmingham Hoover Metropolitan area—defined by our seven counties: Bibb, Blount, Chilton, Jefferson, St. Clair, Shelby, and Walker.

So the folks in our suburbs are impacted by this number just as much as our local residents.

What is that statistic?

Continue reading This number will scare the bejeebies out of you

Is Steven Hoyt evil?

Councilor Steven Hoyt
Councilor Steven Hoyt

When you read some of the remarks by (I assume) white commenters on al.com, you almost have to come to the conclusion that Steven Hoyt is the devil—some kind of black racist.  Councilor Hoyt is the City Council representative from Birmingham’s District 8.

Councilor Hoyt regularly seems to be in the headlines standing up for African-American inclusion when there are economic opportunities for individuals or businesses created by the City of Birmingham.

Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Continue reading Is Steven Hoyt evil?