Confusion surrounding Alaska trip continues

By Ashley Nix

BIRMINGHAM (WBRC) - A new day, a new plan for the controversial trip to Alaska scheduled for Birmingham neighborhood leaders.

Tuesday, the president of the Citizen's Advisory Board, Sheila Tyson, recommended to the city council that 99 people should go.  The original plan was to send 170 people, costing the city nearly $400,000.

Since then, councilors have met regarding the issue, trying to come up with a solution to send less people, which would cut down on costs.  Tyson made it very clear what the neighborhoods wanted.

"We want 99 people to go to represent their neighborhood," she said.  "Now you have heard the proposal from our neighborhood association."

At Tuesday's council meeting, other people from other Birmingham neighborhoods spoke out.  However, no one got the crowd's attention like Dan Hadden, whose Huffman neighborhood recommended only four people go.

"I would like you to take the advice of Barney Fife and nip it in the bud," Hadden said, among a rousing applause.

Birmingham Mayor William Bell was originally against changes to the original recommendation; however he said the decision is now up to someone else.

"It would be up to the council to take that matter up. We withdrew the original proposal and we are done with that,"  Bell said.

However, Council President Roderick Royal told Fox 6 something different.

"The ball really isn't in the council's court, let's be clear about that," Royal said. "The ball is in the mayor's court."

So now there's confusion as to who exactly will recommend the item to be voted on and when.

"That's between the council and the neighborhood," the mayor said. "Why it got out of hand?  Who knows, that's politics here at city hall."

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