Thursday, November 5, 2009

RANT: Smoke and Mirrors

Now this is a little time has passed since the former mayor of Birmingham has been convicted and the acting/interim mayor Carole Smitherman received the helm to lead Birmingham (a week), but who's counting...  It's time to talk about the "smoke and mirrors" that has been occurring here for nearly 2 years with the city's government. 

The facts are the city of Birmingham is $20.8 million in the hole because of the shuffling and shifting of funds by formerly Langford-appointed Finance Director Steve Saylers, and this didn't include the expenses such as utilities bills, phone bills, and maintenance of street draining.  Also the City Council was of purvey of this with the new financial software similar to Quick Books that kept up with the city's reserves and expenditures.  However, after all the grappling and arguing all summer over the Fiscal Year 2010 budget was passed.  Although now acting/interim mayor Carole Smitherman knew the numbers were fuzzy after the software said the city was $28 million in the hole, but allowed it to occur. 

Now on to the smoke and mirrors:  Langford was fraudulently elected the mayor of Birmingham after he claimed that his official resident was a loft on 3rd Avenue South in the City Center.  This is although he is mail and bills and personal vehicle of choice his 2007 black Cadillac Escalade was regularly seen at his home with his wife, Melva, in Fairfield.  In other words, he got that loft to claim residency, but wasn't living there no more than I own a home in Bermuda. 

On the other hand, the use suspects who are the black "leaders" of Birmingham were standing behind his candidacy such as Alabama State Representative John Rogers, community activity/full-time race-baiter/radio personality on WATV Frank Matthews, and the president of the Birmingham chapter of the SCLC Calvin Woods.  All of them claiming his platform of toughness on black-on-black crime, demanding more parental physical discipline of their children, and slogan "Let's Do Something" was more than enough to get Birmingham were it needs to be. 

Oh yeah, the inauguration day for Larry Langford was full of familiar faces of the business community including UAB President Carol Garrison, Regions Financial CEO Dowd Ritter, Protective Life CEO John Johns, and Alabama Power CEO Charles McCrary.  However, they knew he was a fraud and all, but stood by him because they wanted to keep their place at the proverbial table so they will have a say in the decisions.  SMH.  Now, I understand you have to swallow your pride and bite the bullet, but why would you show up at the inauguration if you knew or had a hint of all this?  You keep the relationship cordial and professional, but don't act like all is right.  Then again, where were these people during the trial over the 2 weeks it was occurring?  Oh yeah, they were ducking and covering or distancing themselves from Langford for the sake of their professional reputation.  Actually, most of them were at the Birmingham Business Alliance conference compiling the new plan I mentioned, but they were doing that "ducking and cover". 

Carole Smitherman and most of the City Council wasn't any better.  Council President Smitherman was too busy trying to play both sides of the proverbial "battle" between the City Council and the Mayor, so she wouldn't be caught in the crossfire.  However, it didn't really help because then Mayor Langford would still snap at her like the rest of the Council over the details of any plans he would have.  The usual whiny Roderick Royal, Valerie Abbot, and along with outgoing Councilman Joel Montgomery would question him over the details and specifics, but none of them would ever step up to the plate and forge a political coalition with the majority of the Council to really stop the Mayor.  This brings me back to Carole Smitherman, who has stood by the actions of the Mayor without a doubt and now as acting/interim mayor herself didn't even try to condemn Langford for his actions or his appointed staffers like Sayler.

The overview: Now that all this has come to fruition that all this crap was going down, now Smitherman wants to say the city could have been in financial ruins.  Too little, too late, lady.  You saw what was going on and when you had your chances you never condemned the former mayor and now you are trying to save face.  Likely story...

Sayler resigned on Monday, former Langford-appointed chief-of-staff Deborah Vance-Bowie was fired today, and more likely on the way.  Now the real question, why didn't you fire all of them on day one, Friday?  Also when are you going announce you're going to recluse yourself from the special election?  I say this because after the tactics of race-baiting during her campaign against Shelia Tyson during the District 6 council seat race and the fact that you used the same firm as Langford did during his campaign, Maxim, you shouldn't even dare try to go there Council President Smitherman.  You better keep doing what you should do while you are acting/interim mayor, but you burnt your bridge with a lot of progressives like me with that bull...

1 comment:

  1. Amen! Amen! Carole Smitherman is the real liar. She did not "uncover" anything. Bowie says she told her and now she is throwing this woman out there as the sacrifice hoping some of us are stupid enough to buy this BS story. Carole headed finance for the city yet she approved the budget! She will never be mayor of Birmingham.



Related Posts with Thumbnails


Blog Archive