What if Moses was Mayor of Birmingham?

Moses was a remarkable guy.

He parted the Red Sea, brought us the Ten Commandments, and delivered the Israelites to the Promised Land.

If you need someone to accomplish a task, Moses’ resume looks pretty good.

However, even if you could convince Moses to run for political office in metro Birmingham, he would be unable to make us competitive.

Here’s why…

The elected leader with the largest constituency in our metro area is the Sheriff of Jefferson County.  But our Sheriff is not our political leader.

It’s certainly not the Mayor of Birmingham.  The Mayor of Birmingham represents only 19% of our metro population.

As Mayor Bell frequently says, “I wasn’t elected Mayor of our Region. I was elected Mayor of Birmingham.”

And if Mayor Bell tried to act like the Mayor of the region he would be voted out of office and be criticized for his megalomania.

Please note there’s no Mayor of Jefferson County—only five commissioners who represent their districts.

There’s no elected official with the constituency or mandate to develop and implement a plan to move our region forward.

Everyone says that metro Birmingham needs strong leadership.  There is no position available for that strong leader.

Moses, sorry, there’s no office for you.

Unless we do something about our government structure, we, like the Israelites, are doomed to wander in the desert.

The Israelites eventually reached the Promised Land.  We have some work to do.

Let’s turn Birmingham around.  Click here to sign up for our newsletter.  There’s power in numbers. (Opt out at any time)

David Sher is a partner in Buzz12 Marketing and co-CEO of AmSher Receivables Management. He’s past Chairman of the Birmingham Regional Chamber of Commerce (BBA), Operation New Birmingham (ONB), and the City Action Partnership (CAP).

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4 thoughts on “What if Moses was Mayor of Birmingham?”

  1. David,

    I think this, like all of your posts is very good. Like you, I believe the metro area needs a consolidated government in order to move forward. The Birmingham-area continues to lose ground to cities similar to our size because of this disfuntional form of governement.

    How do we change it?  What are the steps that would have to be taken in order for there to be a metro area consolidated form of government?


  2. *David, I liked your post and hope progressive change for our region does not take 40 years.

    But also one small plea, let’s leave Moses doomed to wander in the desert, not dessert!. 

    Returning to reform, since consolidation seems unlikely, a good step would be creating at-large member of city councils and the county commission, so that we would have a mix of district and at-large representation. 

    I guess that would require the Alabama legislature to act, which — if true — is a different challenge. But some states have passed charter government laws that let interested counties change their form of government, so there are some models out there. Has PARCA or a similar group looked into this issue for Alabama? 

    Cheers, Jeff

    1. Jeff, you are right on target. The suggestions you made, in my opinion, should be our next steps.

      In regard to desert or dessert, you have reinforced the fact that since “spell check” was invented I’ve become a poor and lazy speller. Thanks for letting know, but during the holiday season I actually do wander around in the desserts.

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