|Mayor William Bell, the man who won't, without a personally enriching "incentive" first|
Birmingham's mayor and city council seem content to thrill to tune of their own sniping and neglect what should be important priorities in the aftermath of the April 27 tornadoes.
Mayor William Bell and the Birmingham City Council have wasted close to a month arguing over debris removal for Pratt City and other areas in Jefferson County. Meanwhile, the federal clock on FEMA funds continues to tick away with a June 12 deadline coming up fast. After the deadline, federal assistance drops from 90% to 75%, increasing the costs to the county and state.
But there's another cost that cannot be measure so easily--the price of frustration and squalor in the Pratt City area because of this lunacy masquerading as leadership.
Governor Bentley has told the county in not so many words to 'get their rears in gear' and commenters to Birmingham News stories about the 'council of none but themselves' have echoed the sentiment.
In a city that wrote the sheet music for the familiar tune of 'corruption, cronyism and pay-offs' we think that debris removal should begin at City Hall before moving onto Pratt City. There is simply no excuse for the inept inaction by the city leaders, unless there is something else going on that is delaying the city from reaching a consensus.
John Archibald has a pretty good idea what it is, and it centers on Birmingham Mayor William Bell's past business connections to one of the three private firms being pushed on the council by Bell. The main sticking point for the council has to do with a little pocket change, $10 million dollars worth, that has to be paid upfront first.
In contrast, the ACOE (corps) does not require money upfront, and is more than capable of doing the job, yet still, Mayor Bell insists on his costly
scheme plan being voted on and approved by a majority of the council before anything happens.
We say--Fiddlers, meet Mr. Archibald's pen: