Wade on Birmingham

Heads up: Larry Langford’s first year


In his first year, Mayor Larry Langford has proposed more ideas than you’ve forgotten about. Really.

Birmingham mayor Larry LangfordThe former Fairfield mayor, TV reporter, theme park entrepreneur and Jefferson County commissioner took office Nov. 13, 2007.

His effort to jump-start, well, everything about the city of Birmingham has generated publicity, arguments, questionable funding and often little else. Save for XO laptops (most still sitting in a warehouse) and periodic neighborhood cleanups, are residents and businesses better off than they were 365 days ago?

The Birmingham News did its standard roundup, prominently mentioning the elephant in the room (the federal grand jury investigation into his commissioner days). Langford says:

“I don’t feel like I need to justify anything to any of these people. The proof is right in front of their faces. We are further along than we have been in the last 20 years.”

An editorial marking his first anniversary in office repeats an oft-heard request: Finish a proposal, any proposal, before moving on to the next 10. Langford usually counters this by saying the city’s too far behind to concentrate on any one project at a time.

Birmingham Weekly catalogs the mayor’s cavalcade of ideas one agonizing month after another. It’s a litany of broken promises and political favors:

November 2007: Before taking office, Langford effectively fires Police Chief Annetta Nunn. In an interview with ABC 33/40, Langford says he will retain Nunn as a consultant to finish upgrades in police technology. Despite the promise, Langford never gives Nunn any such contract.

January 2008: The mayor’s office proposes a $1.4 million contract annually renewable with Ion Interactive to provide camera surveillance for the Birmingham Police Department. Ion Interactive was started by Claude Estes IV, a Birmingham accountant. … The contract is not put out for bid. The council approves the contract. The mayor’s office proposes a $1.3 million, 12-month contract with Tech Providers, Inc. to install financial software and train city employees to use it. Tech Providers Inc. was started by Claude Estes IV. … The contract is not put out for bid. The council approves the contract.

Really, you can just flip open any publication at any time to read about such shenanigans. In the most recent issue of Black and White, learn about him trying to hire a duplicate purchasing agent with a $102,000 salary.

Or just periodically check the BhamWiki for the ever-growing list of initiatives from Mayor Langford.

Larry Langford. Misunderstood dreamer? Schemer? Or about-to-be-indicted loser? And can Birmingham survive another three years?

6 Yips for “Heads up: Larry Langford’s first year”

  1. K. Whitmire
    Tuesday, November 25, 2008, 6:01 pm

    You forgot the $10,000 consulting contract he gave to a 13-year-old today.

  2. Snufflelufugus
    Tuesday, November 25, 2008, 6:04 pm

    I hear somebody’s going to have a case of the Mondays.

  3. Wade
    Tuesday, November 25, 2008, 6:06 pm

    @Kyle: No, no, that’s totally legit. That kid either owns a dog racing track / bingo parlor or fixes computers when not appearing in gay porn.

    Langford hires 13-year-old as consultant on parks

  4. Kenn
    Monday, December 1, 2008, 10:33 am

    Start the second year with charges of bribery, and where do you go from there?

    I thought about running for office this year, but I’ve decided I’m just not corrupt enough to qualify.

  5. Wade on Birmingham » Blog Archive » Birmingham mayor Larry Langford arrested by feds
    Monday, December 1, 2008, 11:01 am

    […] } if (hours==0) hours=12 if (minutes Sphere: Related Content Also see:Heads up: Busy signalHeads up: Larry Langford’s first yearHeads up: The tell-tale heatVote 2007Vote 2007: Mayor Langford, we […]

  6. Wade
    Monday, December 1, 2008, 11:23 am

    @Kenn: Where do we go from here? More crime, more corruption, crazier ideas and an angrier mob.

    Don’t fret — it takes years of practice to reach this level of corruption in politics.

Leave a Yip

Subscribe without commenting