One city recently elected a 24-year-old mayor, one of the youngest in the nation. Another, which is financially strapped and has considered bankruptcy, put a new mayor in office. The third has a mayor entering his fourth term, while nearly a dozen area mayors lost their seats during the recent local elections.
In some ways, it is the best of times and the worst of times for three Birmingham-area cities—Brighton, Fairfield, and Midfield.
All three municipalities are located within 15 minutes of each other in the western part of Jefferson County, and all have their share of changes and challenges. But the leader of each—veteran Gary Richardson, 59, of Midfield, and newcomers Brandon Dean, 24, of Brighton and Edward May II, 38, of Fairfield—begins the current term with his own unique style of governance.
Richardson is rooting for each to succeed behind young, progressive leadership:
“All of us are in this together, whether we realize it or not. If our other cities are viable, vibrant cities, it actually helps us. … Anything I can do to help enhance them, to lift up their quality of life also helps me in my community.”
We look at how each mayor plans to tackle problems facing his city.