Is John Rogers a nut?

State Representative John Rogers

“We’re going to fix it where they can’t get permission to go to the bathroom.” 

 This is State Representative John Roger’s warning to Jefferson County Commissioners in retaliation for their decision to discontinue in patient services at Cooper Green.

I’ve published 66 blogs this past year to begin a discussion about our dysfunctional government structure, but this trumps them all.

Rogers warns that state legislators have filed so many bills against the county that they’re going to “need five lobbyists to fight all those bills.”

Note these bills are ultimately against Jefferson County—not the commissioners. Our county will have to pay for these imaginary lobbyists—we, the tax payers, are the victims.

I’m not taking sides on the Cooper Green issue, but only in Alabama, because of our outdated State Constitution, does the State Legislature have the authority to dictate the finances of Jefferson County. Is our state run so well that our State Legislators have time to micromanage each county?

Follow the action…

  • The state legislature forces Jefferson County to drastically cut funding
  • In patient care at Cooper Green is one of the casualties
  • The state legislature then punishes Jefferson County tax payers for the problem the legislators themselves created.

Is Representative Rogers out of his mind?

I contend that John Rogers is a brilliant politician. He understands his constituents and he skillfully manipulates our dysfunctional government to try to get them what they want.

Standing up for your constituents is what America is all about.

But how much longer are we willing to accept our convoluted government structure? Isn’t it time we at least start to talk about it?

Click here to read the article

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David Sher is a co-founder of Buzz12 Marketing and a principal 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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16 thoughts on “Is John Rogers a nut?”

  1. *David, I don’t know if you saw my letter in the paper, but i’m glad i’m not the only one to think Rogers has a king complex.  If he wants to run the county he should run for the commission.  He is part of the problem, not part of the solution.



    1. Julian, I did see it. However, I feel Rep Rogers is just using the tools we’ve provided to him by our dysfunctional government structure. He and the constituents he represents weren’t able to maintain in patient care at Cooper Green so he’s doing everything in his power to prove his point.

      A single state senator or four state representatives can completely block legislation for Jefferson County. This is the power we’ve provided. Until we change our state constitution and have home rule, we will subject ourselves to the same expected consequences.

      I very much appreciate your continued passion for metro Birmingham.

  2. *David, 

    Are there any background papers you’d recommend which describe the current funding and power structures for the local health care system? As a relative newcomer from outside the U.S., I don’t understand how the local indigent care system works – or its funding sources. I’d like to be informed, and I’d like to write informed letters to the local state reps, I can’t push the right buttons until I understand the history of the current situation and what needs to happen next to ensure that all community partners are satisfied both their roles and the results.

    1. Shirley, Thanks for your question, but I’m not particularly knowledgeable about healthcare. Maybe someone who reads your question might be able to give you some advice.

  3. The problem starts with the 1901 Constitution, which (ironically) was written to concentrate control with a wealthy white government in Montgomery, who wanted to make sure the county and city governments stayed in their control.  Obviously, many changes have occurred since 1901, e.g., the Birmingham metro is the largest population center, desegregation has given African Americans the right to use the “control tools” in the 1901 Constitution, etc.  Until we re-write the 1901 Constitution, the lack of local rule will persist.

  4. *Bravo David.  This whole state constitution debacle is upsetting.  We need a new, functioning constitution through which we can force proper governance.  That state government can control local government is just beyond the pale when it comes to dysfunctional government.     

  5. *David,  Thank you for beating the drum for Birmingham.  Having lived here all my life, I am so saddened by the current situation with our government, especially county legislators who don’t seem to understand the meaning of “broke”.  Of course, with the spending and borrowing mindset of our national elected officials, I am not surprised to see nuts like John Rogers.  Where will it end?

    Fred Braswell 


  6. Right on target as usual, David. The current structure is just about guaranteed to produce these kinds of results unless occupied by very unselfish, big picture, mature leaders…which isn’t always the case. Change is badly needed, but we’ll have to do something radical to create enough impetus to change the status quo. 

  7. *Paul, you are absolutely right, but making radical changes is difficult.  We might need to start making incremental improvements.  A good first step might be to have at least one county commissioner elected county wide.  If we can find a charismatic, forward thinking leader then maybe we could build enough confidence in Jefferson County governance to ask for and get home rule. 

  8. *David, I frequently travel to Birmingham to visit my daughter.I am a proud resident of Dothan,but I revel in all that Birmingham has to offer. I wonder sometimes if the residents take for granted things that I do not. It saddens me when I read and hear about the lack of a commitment to the greater good that is charecteristic of so many of our elected officials not only in Birmingham but statewide. So long as the individuals who appeal to our fears and stereotypes continue to be elected and re-elected, I do not know what the answer is.

    1. Jack, so good to hear from you. It is so insightful to hear from folks like yourself who might have a different perspective of Birmingham. Birmingham has a wonderful quality of life…it’s just that Birmingham could be so much more.

  9. *Home rule has been an “untouchable” in the legislature all my life.  As citizens, we talk about it, and then keep electing the same self-serving individuals that won’t do anything about it.  There is no clause in the State Constitution,( or US Constitution), that gives a legislator a lifetime appointment.   Demagogues are consistently re-elected because voters don’t educate themselves about the issues at hand and the past performance of the incumbents. 

    Thank you, David, for raising our awareness about the good things in our community and shining a light on the problems.  We have to admit the problem before we can find a remedy.

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