Times staff report
The Birmingham City Council on Tuesday adopted a $428 million fiscal 2018 General Fund Budget after months of deliberations and delays related to the changing mayoral administrations.
The fiscal year began July 1. Randall Woodfin unseated incumbent mayor William Bell in a Oct. runoff.
The spending plan includes $1.27 million for Birmingham City Schools, $1.1 million for city employees’ longevity pay and $2.7 million for city workers cost of living increase.
“I’m going to vote on it for the employees,” Council President Valerie Abbott said during a Budget and Finance committee meeting on Monday.
Following the unanimous vote on Tuesday, Council President Pro Tem Jay Roberson said, “I am elated that we are here at this point in time. I appreciate Mayor Woodfin coming forth and helping us move forward . . . the communications that took place.
“I just want to commend the council, the Budget and Finance Committee and most of all our employees that will get their cost of living and longevity pay in time for them to bless their families for Christmas.”
Much of the discussion regarding the budget took place on Monday afternoon, when the Birmingham City Council and Woodfin convened to discuss the FY 2018 Budget at a jointly called Budget and Finance and Committee of the Whole meeting.
“The mayor tried to fix this thing to make as many people happy as possible,” Abbott said. “Let’s pass this budget and get it over with. The mayor will work with us on the new budget at the beginning of January.”
The councilors have worked to include adjusted cost of living and longevity pay for city employees.
“This is a learning experience. I’ll just leave it at that. I’d like to have a feeling if the council is willing to support this budget,” Abbott said, as the councilors voiced their approval after an extended meeting to discuss several variances to the budget that had previously been presented to them on Monday by the mayor’s office.
While all the councilors in attendance had questions about the budget items on Monday, many of them relative to funding various projects and initiatives, they all agreed that the budget needed to be passed so that employees could receive their cost of living and longevity pay in time for Christmas.