Smitherman feels betrayed as new council rejoiced at reception

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Former Birmingham acting Mayor Carole Smitherman said she feels betrayed after losing the position of council president by one vote.

She said she was promised a vote from Councilor Steven Hoyt.

"I thought coming here to the council chambers, after having a brief conversation with the councilor that I had his support," said Smitherman.

City leaders gathered to welcome newly-elected councilors at a reception at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, but Smitherman was not present.

Hoyt responded by saying they need to put their differences behind them.

"People are different, and they deal with adversity differently." said Hoyt, "My heart goes out to her, but we have a city to run. I can't talk about what I didn't get. You can't cry over spilled milk."

Newly-elected Birmingham City Council President Roderick Royal addressed the audience at the Civil Rights Institute and said he is ready to get to work to move the city forward.

"My concentration over the next month or so will be to do the best job I can as interim mayor and keep council informed," said Royal,  "I intend to have a plan of action for the new mayor so he or she can hit the ground running."

Councilors said they want to focus on the positive, and getting to work improving the city.

They said any words exchanged will not cause bad blood within the council.

"Even through the process of the voting, I believe the mindset of council is we have to work together to move the city forward," said Councilor Jay Roberson.

Royal will hold the title of Acting Mayor until the election to fill the remaining two years of former Mayor Larry Langford's term on Dec. 8.  Hoyt and Smitherman are among the 14 candidates in the race.

Royal is not running.