New county commission takes oaths, gets to work

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - By Alan Collins

BIRMINGHAM (WBRC) - It's a new day in Jefferson County. Today, five people took oaths of office as the new Jefferson County commissioners.

County voters hope the new commissioners will remain united and tackle the major problems facing the county.

"No more jobs being held back," county voter Janie Akins said. "I don't want people laid off work."

"I hope they are going to better than they've been," another voter, Amy Lawson said. "We need business in this area. It couldn't be much worse."

The past Jefferson County commission faced some heated debates. The new president of the commission, David Carrington says the new group will work together.

"We understand we will disagree on some issues but that is no reason to be disagreeable. Keep the issue on the table and don't let it get personal." Carrington said.

Still in the organizational session Wednesday afternoon, Commissioner George Bowman did object moving the number of commissioners on committees from three to five. Bowman believes that will be an unfair advantage for the republican majority.

The commissioners also objected to giving too much authority to a new county manager who must be hired by April 1 of next year. But Bowman was eventually out voted. Still the commissioner is optimistic about the new commission.

"There is no more finger pointing or back biting. There is no more sound bites to make high drama," Bowman said.

This commission must solve the $3 billion sewer debt crisis and face the loss of the job take with another court challenge. County voters just hope this commission will not be split in factions as in the past.

"It's always a possibility but like I said what's good about being pessimistic? Let's be optimistic. Let's see what happens,"  voter George Adams said.

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