The Alabama Moderate

Painting the Red State Purple.

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County pay plan for BJCC axed

Posted by ALmod on January 13, 2006

Kudos to Jefferson County lawmakers for finally listening to their constituents and for not listening to John Rogers instead.

Rogers said lawmakers should force the commission’s hand because three of the five commissioners don’t want to extend the $10 million-a-year payments to finance a domed stadium, something he says would boost tourism and economic development in Birmingham.

Three of the five commissioners don’t want to spend the money. That’s a simple majority. Game over. You lose. Perhaps there is a reason why these lawmakers don’t want to pay up.

But opponents said they don’t want a domed stadium, or their voters don’t. “I’ve never been for the dome,” said Rep. Jim Carns, R-Mountain Brook.

Rep. Albert Morton, R-Birmingham, said people in his House district oppose a domed stadium 10-to-1. He also said he didn’t think it was right for state lawmakers to force the commission to continue paying the money against its will.

Hmm… So Rogers wants to force the commission to pay for a dome against the wishes of their constituents. Technically, the people who voted on this were not members of the commission, but they do represent the good people of Jefferson County just as much as the commissioners do, if not more. Typically, the commission has pretty much ignored the people of Jefferson County, and they really want a domed stadium. So the fact that these lawmakers and the commission isn’t happily dancing to Rogers’s tune tells me something.

Then again, a quick look at the votes tells me something, too…

Voting for Rogers’ bill were: Reps. Priscilla Dunn, D-Bessemer; Eric Major, D-Fairfield; Mary Moore, D-Birmingham; Oliver Robinson, D-Birmingham; and Rogers.

Voting against it were: Reps. Scott Beason, R-Gardendale; Carns; Paul DeMarco, R-Homewood; Morton; Arthur Payne, R-Trussville; Elwyn Thomas, R-Oneonta; and Jack Williams, R-Vestavia Hills.

Oh well… I guess there are those days when you can appreciate partisan politics. I’m downright giddy.


2 Responses to “County pay plan for BJCC axed”

  1. Anonymous said

    Seems like a vote among racial lines instead of a vote for or against the dome. It is racial politics as usual in Birmingham and Alabama as usual. That is why Alabama and Birmingham is making very little progress when compared to the rest of the Southeastern cities.

  2. The Alabama Moderate said

    I don’t see how or why race would have anything to do with it. Birmingham simply can’t handle a domed stadium at this point. Right now, it can’t even handle the crowds that gather for the events at the BJCC. There are no resort-style hotels and no other big tourist attractions. Birmingham and surrounding areas have professional sports teams, but the people of Birmingham rarely attend the events. Birmingham has also failed to provide sufficient fire and police coverage and is currently one of the most dangerous cities in the country. I’m all for a domed stadium in Alabama, but not in Birmingham and not funded by the taxpayers. If a domed stadium were to be erected, it should be paid for by private investors, and it should be in a location that already has a decent tourist base and the capacity to handle such, like Tuscaloosa or Mobile.

    If Birmingham is looking for a way to progress, it should first focus on lowering crime rates and cleaning up the area to make it more appealing. It should also focus more on its current assets. Birmingham has long been a magnet for the bussiness community and industry. Birmingham could simply expand on what it already has, and it would require no drastic changes and almost no cost to the taxpayers. THAT is where focus needs to be when bringing in tax dollars for Birmingham. Not tourism, which would require a dramatic makeover and more taxpayer dollars.

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