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Looks like Birmingham’s budget will be approved … sometime? What’s taking the city council so long?
Well, for starters, the outgoing mayor and previous council couldn’t agree on the one that was proposed last May. The wheels of municipal progress crank slowly in the Magic City, it seems.
For a ray of light at the end of the city’s tunnel, join the council today at 3:30 PM for a 2018 budget presentation. You can play catch up with the new council as they take in the proposed budget and the changes that have been proposed so far.
Will Mayor Bell and/or Mayor-elect Woodfin will be there? #qotd (question of the day)
Why More Waiting?
New City Councilors Darrell O’Quinn and Hunter Williams asked to delay voting on the budget for one or two weeks.
Outgoing Mayor William Bell proposed a $428 million operating budget to the council in May. The previous council and Mayor Bell continued a back-and-forth regarding his proposed budget without passing a final version.
Since then the council and Bell suggested changes that included: increased funding for Birmingham City Schools, the public library and longevity pay for city employees.
The 2018 fiscal year started on July 1. Since then, the city has been operating based on last year’s spending levels.
New Faces, Fresh Start For Council
Three new city councilors and a new mayor means a fresh start for the Birmingham City Council. Councilor Valerie Abbott took over as council president, replacing, Johnathan Austin. Austin lost his bid for re-election against Darrell O’Quinn. O’Quinn now represents District 5.
What’s Next With The Budget?
The mayor must sign off on the budget before it can be placed on the city council meeting agenda. At a previous meeting, the new council agreed to postpone budget voting until Mayor-elect Randall Woodfin takes office November 28.
A special-called Committee of the Whole meeting has been set for Nov. 29, the day after Woodfin takes office.
Today’s meeting takes place on the third floor of city hall, 710 North 20th Street. If you can’t attend the meeting but would like to watch, you can visit the council’s Facebook page via this link. They’ll be streaming the meeting live.