Press Releases

2017-2021 Birmingham City Council Elect New President and President Pro-Tempore

PRESS RELEASE                                                                          Tuesday October 24, 2017

Contact: Cody Owens

Phone: 205-254-2294


BIRMINGHAM, AL— By a vote of five to four, the freshly inaugurated Birmingham City Council elected Valerie Abbott, the longest serving current member, as council president on Tuesday. Moments later, by an equally narrow vote, the council selected Jay Roberson to serve as president pro tem.

Before the meeting was called to order, the council chambers were already filled to capacity with the fire marshal having to turn people away at the door, including some members of the media. As cameras flashed and phones — many recording video or broadcasting Facebook Live — were thrust into the air to get a better angle of the action, each councilor was sworn in by a judge, including the three incoming freshmen: Darrell O’Quinn, John Hilliard and Hunter Williams.

Councilor Sheila Tyson was the first to nominate Councilor Steven Hoyt for president; Roberson then nominated Abbott. They were the only two nominations for the presidential post.

Tuesday also saw the reshuffling of committee assignments for the new council, including several committees that were split in two – the Budget and Finance Committee will now meet separately from the Economic Development Committee; the Public Safety Committee will no longer be held in conjunction with the Transportation Committee.

The assignments, which were appointed by Council President Abbott, are as follows.

  • Administration/Education: Abbott
  • Budget and Finance: Abbott
  • Public Relations: Scales
  • Economic Development: Hilliard
  • Parks and Recreation: Parker
  • Planning and Zoning: Hoyt
  • Public Improvements: Tyson
  • Public Safety: Williams
  • Transportation: O’Quinn
  • Utilities and Technology: Roberson

Speaking after the meeting, Council President Pro Tem Roberson praised the work done by Council President Abbott with the committee assignments, saying “she wanted to make sure people were able to do what they are good at” and placing councilors in a position for them to have the greatest impact. On working with a new mayor, Roberson said, “I’m here to work with the mayor including the current mayor and mayor-elect, to make sure we can move the city forward.”

For media inquiries please contact Birmingham City Council Public Information Officer Cody Owens at 205.254.2294.