How can one document create so much havoc?

 

Alabama has the only constitution in the world that contains the words "pick up truck"

My good friend, Michael Calvert, likes to remind me the Alabama Constitution is the only one in the world that contains the words “pick up truck.”

And it has a lot more words—340,136 to be exact—12 times longer than the average state constitution, 40 times longer than the U.S. Constitution.

About 90 percent of the document’s length, as of 2011, comes from its 854 amendments. About 70 percent of the amendments cover only a single county or city, and some deal with salaries of specific officials.* Continue reading How can one document create so much havoc?

There’s no way in hell we’ll ever work together

Tornado strikes Birmingham, April, 2011, but governments still don't cooperate

 

Leadership Birmingham is a diverse group of Birmingham citizens who are selected each year to study Birmingham’s problems and opportunities and then go out and make a difference.

I was in the class of 1992 and when I graduated I asked the business leader who was delivering the commencement speech, “Why doesn’t Birmingham consider combining its city and county government?” Continue reading There’s no way in hell we’ll ever work together

Will the last big company left in Birmingham please turn out the lights

Regions Bank--Birmingham's last remaining Fortune 500 Company

 

With Vulcan Materials facing a hostile takeover bid from a North Carolina-based competitor, Birmingham is on the verge of losing another public company headquarters.  Even if Vulcan survives, the trend is ominous.

According to a Birmingham Business Journal article from December 16, 2011, titled “A troubling trend for Birmingham,” a little more than a decade ago, Birmingham was home to at least 30 publicly traded companies and now we’re down to 15. Continue reading Will the last big company left in Birmingham please turn out the lights

Government structure is killing us

3rd Ave N. looking east from 18th street; courtesy of the Birmingham Historical Society

 

After World War II, Birmingham and New Orleans were the top two leading cities in the South.  Now they’re at the bottom. New Orleans had Katrina.  What’s Birmingham’s excuse?

Birmingham’s centrally located in the South, is absolutely gorgeous, and has very smart, likeable people–as do other Southern cities.  Why have we performed so poorly?  Is there something in the water? Continue reading Government structure is killing us

Can our suburbs survive if Birmingham is a donut hole?

I live in Vestavia Hills—I don’t really want to live around a donut hole.

The numbers are frightening.

Birmingham’s population fell…

To begin a conversation about a better Birmingham