Micromanagement? Or Extortion?

Why John Rogers is obsessed with a dome I do not know. But he is. He is now threatening to introduce legislation that would force JeffCo to not only continue supporting the BJCC beyond the end of the county’s current obligation but to cough up an extra five million bucks a year for the proposed dome:

State Rep. John Rogers, D-Birmingham, and three other lawmakers met with county commissioners Monday to discuss his latest plan. Commissioners said they were surprised by the proposal while Rogers said he was pleased by the “negotiations.”

“I want them to continue the $10 million they’re paying through 2038 and add $5 million because the cost of the project has increased,” Rogers said.

The County Commission has objected to extending its $10 million-a-year payments to the BJCC for the dome. The county’s obligations end in 2008. Birmingham has committed $8.8 million a year for 30 years to BJCC expansion, including a domed stadium.

In other words, Rogers – the state legislator – is trying to force the people who actually run the county to spend three hundred million dollars on a project they have already rejected. That’s just the micromanagement. It gets worse:

Rogers hinted that the future of the county’s occupational tax could be tied to the commission’s support of the dome funding. The lawmaker said he was looking at backing a separate bill aimed at repealing the county’s one-half percent occupational tax, which generates more than $60 million a year for the county.

“If they want the occupational tax, they have to do what they are supposed to do,” Rogers said.

“What they are supposed to do.” No, unless they do what Rogers wants them to do, then we all lose a significant source of the county’s revenue.

Rogers really needs to shut his yapper. The County is in bad financial shape, and the Dome is not the only project on the chopping block:

Jefferson County’s funding for the Railroad Reservation Park and Red Mountain Park, as well as money for dozens of non-profit agencies, could be in jeopardy because the county has other priorities, Commission President Bettye Fine Collins says. . . .

[The current county commission thinks] some capital needs were neglected in favor of parks and non-profit organizations, Collins said.

The county now turns its focus on purchasing and maintaining equipment for roads and transportation and to get roofs replaced and repaired, she said.

“It’s not only a priority, it’s what we’re supposed to do, and if we can take care of other things that’s great and wonderful, but we have to run this county,” Collins said.

Collins said capital needs include:

Upgrading the security system in all county buildings.

Replacing roofs at the county nursing home and at the operations center.

Modernizing elevators in county buildings.

While reviewing the budget, Collins said she was surprised to learn of many unfilled vacancies across county departments.

“Most projects have been neglected because we haven’t had the men to do it with and the materials,” she said. “They haven’t had equipment in a long time.”

Humphryes, who oversees roads and transportation, said his department has 135 unfilled positions.

“It presents all kinds of problems because they’re barely able to do the necessary day-to-day work to keep up,” Humphryes said. “We’ve got projects that we don’t have the people to put on. We’re just getting farther and farther behind.”

I really hope the Commission tells Rogers to go scratch. First, if we have to choose between adequate roads, the parks, and the dome, the dome ought to be dead last. Second, if we have to choose between local control of local problems, or legislative control of local problems I’m choosing the locals. Finally, maybe I’m wrong, but I do not see Rogers’ bully legislation going anywhere.

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7 Comments on “Micromanagement? Or Extortion?”

  1. Dystopos Says:

    What would be the process involved in recalling Rogers? Does the legislature have rules that would censor his bullying?


  2. The “Holy War” Continues For Rogers

    My first blog I ever wrote here on PIA was about Rep. John Rogers, and his “Holy War” to get a dome in Birmingham. His fight continues, this time moving towards a more bullying effort.

    A Birmingham lawmaker said Tuesday he wants to use an…

  3. Jeff Says:

    No, they will just not allow the bill to come out of committee, we hope.

  4. Dystopos Says:

    I have been informed that at about $6.4 million of the county’s commitment (currently $10M/year) comes in the form of alcohol, hotel and vehicle taxes collected by the county under state legislation that earmarked those funds for the BJCC. So unless the county decides to lobby for the repeal of those taxes, that amount must still go to the BJCC regardless of what the Commission decides.

  5. wheeler Says:

    that makes it a bit more palatable, but he’s still trying to force the county – us, that is – to commit more than double that amount.

  6. Kathy Says:

    Yet another reason why we need a new constitution.

  7. publius Says:

    john rogers made fun of the death of johnny spann. Spann was the CIA operative murdered in the prison outbreak where the american taliban, john walker was being held. I hope john rogers rots in hell along with his self declared holy jihad on anti dome supporters. People like john rogers only exist in public life because our govt functionaries (your taxes pay for it) like UAB find him valuable. That is quite an odd couple: a 4 yr university of higher education, and a simpleton who cannot speak english or complete a sentence in any language. I suppose UAB owns Rogers thru scams/shams like the Shelton State Fire College. I hope the Feds not only nail UAB for corruption, but send John Rogers to spend an inordinate amount of time with Mortimer Snerd.


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