Reorganization of Birmingham central staff sparks debate

A debate builds Tuesday over recent hiring and firing practices of central staff at Birmingham City Hall.City Council President Johnathan Austin recently terminated three staffers. Austin says the decision wasn't easy but needed to be made. He also insisted the decision is within his authority.Other councilors say he should have included them in the process, and they also suggest he may have violated rules."I just don't want to be a member of the choir every now and then. I ought to have some say in terms of what happens with that," Councilman Steven Hoyt said."It needs to be right-sized. We have gotten away from our primary focus of {}being legislators," Austin said.Austin told councilors he will present new policies and an organizational staffing chart during a committee meeting Friday.