Birmingham City Council not happy with Water Works Board legislation

Birmingham City Councilman Johnathan Austin. (

With unanimous consent, the Birmingham City Council agrees to disagree with Alabama state legislators.

"If we're going to opt to appoint people, it has to be with a Birmingham interest," Councilwoman LaShunda Scales said.

The bills making their way through the State House would appoint four more members to the Birmingham Water Works Board. Council feels left out because, normally, that's its job.

"When you're talking about regional partnership, that's one of the things that I probably have the most problem with a lot of bills that go to Montgomery," Scales said. "The fact they don't effectively communicate with us. In fact, there is no communication."

"There's several problems," Councilman Johnathan Austin said. "One is there's not{}been a conversation with the council."

Austin says the second problem is representation. He says Birmingham, alone, represents more than one-third of all water customers.

"To say that another county that may only have 10,000 customers on the system should have a vote as the customers of Birmingham, I just don't think that's fair. It's not equitable."

And some councilors, like Steven Hoyt, say it's not good for business.

"This is nothing but a set up," Hoyt said. "And you need to know a set up when you see it. I'm telling you, it's a set up."

Some city councilors will be traveling to Montgomery, Wednesday, to talk with Sen. Jabo Waggoner about the bill.