New Birmingham mayor discusses cuts, audits and more in first day

New Birmingham mayor discusses cuts, audits and more in first day

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - It was a busy first day in office for Birmingham's new mayor.

He's met with employees, made changes to staff, and held a news conference.

Hundreds of employees filed into Boutwell Auditorium to hear the first speech from their new leader.

"We all serve. We serve people," he told listeners, stressing that customer service should be their number one priority and that bad work habits would be addressed.

"He's so young, he's so energetic and has so many ideas, so I think we're all looking forward to something greater," one employee said after the event.

"It's really nice when you hear upper level say they're going to support you and be there for you," said another.

Woodfin also stressed department heads would work to boost morale and support. One way is by reinstating longevity pay.

"Once I got here is when it stopped so I'm excited about the opportunity to receive it," one employee exclaimed.

But there were some faces missing from this crowd. At a news conference Tuesday afternoon, Woodfin addressed the issue of staffing changes. He said there would be a reduction in administrative assistants, about 54 before he took office.

"Today, we have had a significant decrease in that 54. We're still tallying that number truthfully," he said.

He also plans for the city to undergo a performance audit, something he says hasn't happened in almost 40 years. Woodfin says they're looking for search firms now to conduct that performance audit.

Once hired, he hopes to have their results back in his first 100 days and based on their findings, be at full staff by July 1, the beginning of the new fiscal year.

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