Birmingham Mayor, Council To Start Terms On Different Dates

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Birmingham City Council members await their turn for inauguration in October 2013.  Seated from left, Valerie Abbot, Maxine Parker (deceased), Johnathan Austin (outgoing), Sheila Tyson, Jay Roberson, Steven Hoyt, and Marcus Lundy, (outgoing).

Sherrel Wheeler Stewart

Birmingham City Council members await their turn for inauguration in October 2013. Seated from left, Valerie Abbot, Maxine Parker (deceased), Johnathan Austin (outgoing), Sheila Tyson, Jay Roberson, Steven Hoyt, and Marcus Lundy, (outgoing).

Birmingham’s mayor and council were elected at the same time, but they will take office three weeks apart.

Mayor William Bell’s term expires on the second Tuesday in November, and the new mayor, Randall Woodfin, will be sworn in on or before the fourth Tuesday in November. Those dates are set by state law, according to the Alabama Secretary of State.

The Alabama Legislature in 2010 changed the law to synchronize elections for the Birmingham mayor and council beginning in 2013.  That law set the fourth Tuesday in October as the date for the council to assume office. It did not, however, change the beginning and end of the mayor’s term.

This means Birmingham’s council will serve with an outgoing mayor for three weeks.

William Bell, the outgoing mayor, won re-election in 2013, so there was no transition because he continued in office.

Woodfin, who is wrapping up his first term on the Birmingham School Board, defeated Bell in a runoff on Oct. 3. The incoming mayor is set to announce his transition team today.

Mayor William Bell greets Councilwoman Lashunda Scales of District 1. The two have had differences in recent years, and Scales backed Mayor-elect Randall Woodfin in the recent election.
Mayor William Bell lost his re-election bid to Randall Woodfin in a runoff this month. Councilwoman Lashunda Scales won another term, which will begin weeks before Woodfin takes office.
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