City leaders vow to continue Langford projects

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Just moments after being convicted in a federal corruption trial, a looming prison sentence could not stop Larry Langford from reflecting on projects he had implemented during his 22 months as mayor of Birmingham.  "I think we have done remarkably well to come this far.  I'm proud of the work we've been able to accomplish," Langford said to reporters.  "The only thing I want to see happen at this point in Birmingham...we voted and raised people's taxes to build that domed stadium.  There's no reason for that stadium not to be built."

That domed stadium is just one project Langford spearheaded.  There is also the railroad park, a new transportation hub and the redevelopment of Fair Park.  They're all ideas Langford shared with interim mayor Carole Smitherman just hours after being convicted.  "He said, 'You have the book.  This is a blueprint for a new Birmingham'", Smitherman said during a news conference Thursday and referring to a book of ideas Langford passed on to her.  "Assuming the city finances are as I expect them to be, let me assure every citizens of Birmingham that all projects underway will continue with the vote of the council."

Chiming in, members of the council say they will stand behind Smitherman in getting the work done.  "I think that's probably one of the strongest things you can do as interim mayor is to continue the programs that will work for our city," Councilor Roderick Royal said.  Councilor Johnathan Austin agreed.  "We have an opportunity here.  The ground work has been laid to for us to continue to move forward."