In a runoff election last week, Jefferson County Commissioner Bobby Humphreys lost his bid for re-election. Since the four other commissioners opted not to run again, that means an entirely new commission will be seated after the general election is held in November.
One new commissioner, however, was elected in last Tuesday’s runoff. Former Birmingham City Council member Sandra Little Brown, a Democrat, won a seat on the five-member County Commission because there is no Republican challenger this fall.
David Carrington, a Republican and Vestavia Hills City Council member, won a seat in the June 1 election because there is no Democrat challenger for the seat this fall. Three remaining seats will be filled in November. It’s unclear if the new government will have to grapple with Jefferson’s notorious debt problems, which include $3.2 billion of sewer warrants that remain outstanding in variable- and auction-rate modes.
The Birmingham News recently reported that the current commission would like to resolve the debt problems, or at least substantially resolve them, before the new board is seated.
For nearly two years, commissioners have been unable to resolve their differences on how to restructure the debt. Eventually, the county’s bonds were downgraded to junk and no credit enhancement was available to make restructuring viable. More recently, commissioners have discussed the need to conduct a long-overdue audit.