Local mayors react to Supreme Court decision

JEFFERSON COUNTY, AL (WBRC) - After an Alabama Supreme Court decision that shuts down bingo halls, some elected leaders are now trying to figure how the decision will affect their city's economics.

This news comes at a time when many area cities are already operating under tight budgets.

In Fairfield, the city's bingo halls closed their doors Friday evening. The Fairfield city attorney said this change could have a significant impact on the city's economy.

"I think this city will have to really go into tough decisions as to their services as to personnel," said Michael Trucks, "It is unfortunate. It is just the reality."

In Midfield, Mayor Gary Richardson said the city will not cut jobs, but bingo would have brought in some additional revenue to buy police cars and other equipment.

He added that city leaders will have to scale back their wish lists, but he is hoping it will be business as usual.

"It's like the old adage, 'You don't miss what you never had,' said Richardson, "We certainly don't miss it. We could have used it. However, we have not based our budget on bingo."

Bessemer Mayor Edward May has been opposed to bingo halls in his city from the beginning.

He said he supports the Alabama Supreme Court's decision.

He said Bessemer's finances will not be impacted, and he thinks it will benefit the city overall.

"Maybe now we can get down to business," said May, "We were having all these bingo meetings, but now we can have budget meetings so we can adopt a general fund budget for the city."

All three men agree this is an issue that interests local residents. And as a result, they will continue to monitor the situation.