Tag Archives: jefferson county

Tony Petelos: I was at death’s door

Tony Petelos, County Manager of Jefferson County
Tony Petelos, County Manager of Jefferson County

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

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

I’ve lived in and served Jefferson County my entire life.

However, I never would have imagined that living in Birmingham and in Jefferson County would have saved my life.

In May of 2014 I was diagnosed with an aggressive life-threatening bladder cancer. Continue reading Tony Petelos: I was at death’s door

Terrified of metro government?–here’s a better idea

Charlie Waldrep
Charlie Waldrep

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

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

“Metro Government” has become a mantra for some citizens while others are terrified of the thought of giving up their smaller, responsive local governments.

Consequently, “Metro Government” is a concept unlikely to be achieved among Jefferson County’s 35 municipalities. Continue reading Terrified of metro government?–here’s a better idea

Why politics in Birmingham default to race

William Mohammad, member Birmingham Water Works Board
William Mohammad, Birmingham Water Works Board
David Carrington, member Jefferson County Commission
David Carrington, member Jefferson County Commission

I’ve never met William Muhammad, the newly reappointed member of the Birmingham Water Works Board (BWWB)—so I’m unable to comment on his character.

However, I’ve known Jefferson County Commissioner David Carrington for many years and can strongly testify that he’s not a racist.

In fact, Commissioner Carrington is a poster child for ‘inclusiveness.’

Continue reading Why politics in Birmingham default to race

3 hellish numbers wrecking Birmingham

Hellish number wrecking Birmingham
Hellish number wrecking Birmingham

Here are those ‘hellish’ numbers:  37, 53, and 24.

But you will have to see the list at the end of this piece to understand the magnitude of the problem.

Let’s start with a question:  Would you know where to drive if I invited you to lunch in North Johns?

How about Maytown?

Or Sylvan Springs?

Don’t know where these cities are located?

Well you should. Continue reading 3 hellish numbers wrecking Birmingham

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