BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - More changes are coming to the Jefferson County Commission. On Tuesday, Jefferson Co. Commissioner Jim Carns announced he will not seek re-election. This caught a number of commissioners off guard. "I think his announcement he is not coming back is a blow to the county. I think Jim was an asset here. We needed him for another term," Bobby Humphryes, Jefferson County Commissioner said.
Carns says it has been frustrating and disappointing dealing with the county's sewer debt crisis."We have been going 90 miles per hour on a dead end bridge. Everything we did, we did quickly and suddenly, abruptly it seem this was the wrong thing to do," Carns said.
Carns says it was especially troubling working to solve the county's $3 billion sewer debt crisis and then being removed from the power and influence on the negotiation team by commission President Bettye Fine Collins. "I never been double crossed more on that issue. That was a double cross for me," Carns said.
Commissioner Shelia Smoot, an ally of Collins and sometime opponent of Carns, says the commissioner will be missed. "Mr. Carns and I have had our differences but they are difference. We agree to disagree. But we have over the last few years moved beyond that," Smoot said.
Collins was not on hand at Tuesday's commission meeting.
Carns says with the potential of at least four new county commissioners after the November general election, a county manager will be needed more than ever. Despite the political fights and disagreements over the sewer crisis and spending, Carns does have a good memory of being on the commission. "I got a great parking place," Carns said.