Jeffrey Bayer sticks his neck out

Jeffrey Bayer, Bayer Properties
Jeffrey Bayer, President & CEO of Bayer Properties

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

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

On July 30, 2013, I posted a blog proposing we bring the City of Birmingham and Jefferson County together in some configuration to create a better model for governance for our metro area.

Never could I have been prepared for the OVERWHELMING positive response.  I literally can’t leave my house without friends and strangers telling me that government consolidation could turn metro Birmingham around.

However, there is one common objection. “It’s a great idea, but there’s no way that will ever happen.”

Well, David Silverstein, my biz partner at Bayer Properties, and I are used to being told, ‘There’s no way that will ever happen.”

When David and I proposed the Summit development, we were met with unbending skepticism.  And the City of Birmingham was told they were throwing money away by giving us incentives.  Today, as you know, the City of Birmingham collects millions of dollars in tax revenues from our Summit property.

But that was nothing compared to the objections we heard when we proposed developing a piece of property along Highway 280 commonly referred to as the “Dirt Pile.”  There were a group of well-meaning citizens in Mt. Brook that were having a stroke about it and the folks in Vestavia Hills were so upset, they sued to stop it.  Now, I would wager that most every one of those people has bought something to eat at Whole Foods or Yogurt Mountain.

I hope this doesn’t sound like I’m bragging because I’m not. I only want to make the point that nothing is impossible if you are  willing to see it through.

So how are we going to change our government structure?   I really don’t know, but it can be done if the PEOPLE want it and are willing to be vocal.

How can we make our voices heard?  I have received dozens of letters (people still do write letters and use the U.S. Post Office ) , calls , emails , and face to face comments , that have convinced me the person on the street desperately wants this change, and is prepared to work for it.

Little steps for little people is my motto.

Birmingham has the potential and is ready to go.

What little steps we can take together  to move forward?

Jeffrey A. Bayer is President and CEO of Bayer Properties.  Bayer Properties, developer of  our very successful Summit Shopping Center, has grown from a local property management company to a national commercial real estate firm.  Jeffrey’s a Birmingham native and a true Birmingham supporter. 

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 the publisher of ComebackTown, a co-founder of Buzz12 Advertising and co-CEO of AmSher Collection Agency.  He’s past Chairman of the Birmingham Regional Chamber of Commerce (BBA), Operation New Birmingham (REV Birmingham)), and the City Action Partnership (CAP).

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5 thoughts on “Jeffrey Bayer sticks his neck out”

  1. *I wholeheartedly support Jeffrey’s concept and vision.   I have known him for 30 years and have had a close hand perspective of his efforts.   He has always shown concern for others and to make it a better life for all those around.   I respect him and truly call him friend.

    The metropolitan area will never truly grow to the levels it can as a segmented municipality.   There are so many positive that are available but too many people want a personal piece of the pie for themselves; the multiple inaugurals yesterday are a testament to this.

    There are too many politicians playing politics to better themselves than the community.   The mere term Discretionary Funds is a perfect example.   These funds are used to assist politicians in providing funds to a select few groups rather than the community as a whole.  The sad side of this was so very apparent in the recent budget disagreement.   The city councilors wanted more money set aside for their pet projects, not to use for Birmingham at large.  And make no mistake, this happens at the county level as well.

    But the city/county/metro area would grow and prosper at a much better pace if resources were consolidated.   Segmenting only divides.   Consolidating makes sense.  That’s probably why it will be so hard to change the minds of some.   




  2. *As someone in business you understand the idea of proper planning. In each case, wether the dirt pile or the Summitt, you pitched a plan with specifics as to how the project would be accomplished and how it would succeed. I truly believe the general public is supportive of the idea of consolidated government, BUT until someone pitches a plan with specifics the general public will be skeptical. No project manager would build a development without:  a master plan, blueprints, vendor contracts, etc. The general public is ready to support a good well thought out plan. Without a plan you are asking folks to support a vision…a vapor. 

    So I ask David, Jeffery, and anyone else that is passionate about consolidated government to pull back the curtain and allow the general public a fair chance to evaluate a master plan. Let the plan rise or fall on its merits.  

  3. *Government and its caretakers should be held to higher standards than those we hold to ourselves.  The function of government is to execute the business of the public with honesty and with complete transparency.  The function of the press is to hold said government to such standards.  Unfortunatly the press has taken sides in the name of idiology and sold it’s collective soul for the money.  So who will lead us out of this mess?  The people are our only chance.  When the will of the people overtake the will of the press and the politicians then you will experience true change in government. Jeffrey is a good start…lets get started!

  4. *Very timely and interesing. I would like to know the race of those who support this effort of consolidation between the city and county? How about the schools in Jefferson County being consolidated? Let us get real as education and economics and government and race are connected. I like the fact that Jeffery Bayer raised the issue.

    Peace,George Munchus

    Professor of Management   

  5. *George,you start out with what race are these people, what difference does it make, this would be great for all races. I left Birmingham in 1964,i raised my future family to be different than i was raised.I love Birmingham, so why does everybody want to still make it a race issue?Grown up get over it move on. You have a great southern town, show everybody just how great you can be.

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