Birmingham City Council meeting highlights: Oct. 23, 2018

Birmingham City Council

During the Birmingham City Council Meeting on October 23rd, 2018, the City Council voted on the following items:

1. Appointment of a representative for City Council District 7 due to the resignation of Councilmember James “Jay” Roberson.

An election to fill the vacancy of the President Pro – Tempore of the Birmingham City Council for an unexpired term ending on the fourth Tuesday in October 2019.

Was this item approved? Delayed One Week

What does this mean? After holding two separate votes in an attempt to break the stalemate, the Birmingham City Council’s effort to appoint a replacement for the vacant District 7 seat ended in a 4 to 4 tie. After hearing from District 7 residents, all of whom voiced support for Lonnie Malone, Councilors John Hilliard, Lashunda Scales, Sheila Tyson and Steven Hoyt voted for Malone. Councilors Valerie Abbott, William Parker, Hunter Williams and Darrell O’Quinn voted for Wardine Alexander. Following the second vote that ended in a tie, the Council voted to delay the item until next week. The next item on Tuesday’s agenda was an appointment of a Council President Pro Tem. Councilor Hoyt nominated William Parker after the clerk read the item for consideration. However Scales, insisted that the vote would be improper without someone in place to represent the District 7 residents.

Next Steps: For more information, please contact the Office of the City Council at 205.254.2294

2. A Resolution relative to the application of Robin McClain for a Lounge Retail Liquor Class I License to be used at Empire, 100 – 3 rd Avenue North, Birmingham, and the hearing of all interested parties.

Was this item approved? Yes

What does this mean? Over an hour was dedication to a public hearing involving the business, liquor and dance permits for Empire (formerly Mike’s Crossroads). Community members spoke both for and against the club being reopened. Robin McClain, the wife of the original owner, was listed as the applicant on Tuesday’s agenda. The Council approved the three items associated with Empire 5 to 3 with Hoyt, Tyson and Parker voting no.

Councilor Hunter Williams, Chair of the City Council’s Public Safety Committee, listed 7 reasons why the Council can legally not grant such licenses. The creation of a nuisance; Circumstances clearly detrimental to or which would adversely affect the public health, safety, and welfare of the adjacent residential neighborhoods; A violation of applicable zoning restrictions or regulations; An individual applying for the license has a prior conviction involving the use of alcohol or a controlled substance; The proximity of the business to a school or child care facility and the business hours of the operation will create a harmful environment for the children ; The traffic congestion created by licensing the proposed location will endanger others; Any other reason that poses a risk.

Next Steps: For more information, please contact the Office of the City Council at 205.254.2294

3. A Resolution authorizing the Mayor to execute a project agreement with The Cooperative Downtown Ministries, Inc. to provide assistance of approximately $1,000,000.00 payable over five (5) years in the amount of $200,000.00 to assist in providing the homeless, or those in need of shelter and assistance with in an effort to end chronic homelessness in the City in accordance with Code of Alabama 1975 §11-96A.

Was this item approved? No

What does this mean? According to their website, the mission of Cooperative Downtown Ministries, more commonly known as the Firehouse Shelter is “to provide to homeless men, ages 18 and older, in the Birmingham Area a nurturing and caring environment offering supportive services that break the cycle of homelessness and empower individuals to achieve their highest potential.” After a lengthy discussion with representatives from the Firehouse Shelter, the Council voted 4-4, with Councilors Abbott, Parker, O’Quinn, and Williams voting for approval, and Councilors Hoyt, Hilliard, Tyson, and Scales voting against the item. The Firehouse has raised
$4.2Million in a capital campaign towards the building of a new, larger facility, and was seeking support from the City of Birmingham to reach their goal.

Next Steps: For more information, please contact the Office of the City Council at 205.254.2294


Meeting highlights provided by the Birmingham City Council Public Information office.