Council discusses details of filling upcoming vacancies

To begin Tuesday’s meeting, the Birmingham City Council opened with a wide-ranging discussion involving a potential vote for replacing the soon-to-be vacant seats in Districts 1, 6, and 7.

“I think we should have an election,” Councilor Steven Hoyt said, referring to the three seats that will be vacant following the resignation of Council President Pro Tem Jay Roberson and the election of Councilor Lashunda Scales and Sheila Tyson to the Jefferson County Commission.

Roberson will vacate his seat on September 10 while Scales and Tyson will vacate their seats following the state-wide general election on November 6 (they are both running unopposed).

According to the Mayor Council Act, the Birmingham City Council shall appoint a replacement to fill the vacant seat at the next meeting.

“Vacancies in the council shall be filled by the council at the next regular meeting or any subsequent meeting of the council, the person so elected to hold office only until the next election of any kind in which the voters of the city to which this Act applies are qualified electors, at which time said unexpired terms shall be filled by said electors in accordance with all provisions of law applicable to such city; in any event, the person elected shall hold office until his successor is elected and qualified.”

As it stands, the appointed councilors would serve until the next citywide election in 2021.

Council President Valerie Abbott has said previously that the cost of holding a special election might be prohibitive — costing an estimated $600,000–$800,00. During the Old and New Business portion of the meeting, Abbott read the following statement regarding the upcoming District 7 appointment.

“Beginning today, August 21st, the Birmingham City Council will accept applications and resumes from District 7 residents who are interested in filling the unexpired term of President Pro Tempore Jay Roberson. Council Roberson’s resignation is effective September 10, 2018 and it is the Council’s goal to fill this particular district vacancy as soon as possible.

Each applicant should be a qualified elector of the City of Birmingham, at least 21 years of age, and shall not hold any other public office except that of notary public or member of the National Guard, naval or military reserve.

Interested applicants can secure a copy of the application at www.birminghamalcitycouncil.org Completed applications and resumes should be emailed to the attention of Council President Valerie Abbott at ­­­valerie.abbott@birminghamal.gov

For additional information please feel free to call our office at 205–254–2294

The deadline for receipt of applications and resumes is 5 p.m. (CST) on September 10, 2018.”

Several other Councilors spoke on the upcoming appointments and said they hoped the unfinished terms are filled expeditiously. While no date has been identified, Abbott said she hopes there will be an election for the City Council seats before the 2021.

Abbott said that her office would be accepting applications for the District 1 and District 6 unexpired terms in October, about four weeks prior to the seats being vacated.

During the meeting there were also announcements made concerning vacancies on two more boards, the Birmingham Port Authority and the Birmingham Parks and Recreation Board. The deadline for applications for the Port Authority is Tuesday August 28th at 5 p.m. and the deadline for the Parks Board is Friday August 31st at 5 p.m.

Please email Port Authority applications to Councilor John Hilliard at john.hilliard@birminghamal.gov and Park Board applications to Councilor William Parker a william.parker@birminghamal.gov