Birmingham City Manager Joe Valentine, after 24 years of service to the city, resigned unexpectedly on Monday, October 5, effective at the end of the year.
Valentine, in a letter to mayor Pierre Boutros and city commissioners, said he “has decided to explore new opportunities.”
Valentine has been Birmingham City Manager for the last six and a half years. He began his career with Birmingham as an intern in 1997, and has served as a management specialist, acting director of the Birmingham Shopping District (BSD), human resources director, assistant city manager, to both former city managers Tom Markus and Robert Bruner, and served two stints as interim city manager before accepting the position of city manager in July 2014.
“Over the past six and a half years as city manager, I am proud of what we have accomplished,” Valentine wrote in his resignation letter. “Birmingham is set on a path of continued success with fiscally responsible three-year balanced budgeting, six years of decreasing the city's millage levy and strengthening the city's AAA bond rating while accomplishing some significant capital investments.”
“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve this community for more than two decades in multiple capacities,” said Valentine. “Over the span of my career, I have had the pleasure of engaging with thousands of residents, businesses and community stakeholders who all share a special passion for this community. I also have to thank and acknowledge the dedicated and hard-working employees for their individual contributions in making Birmingham a premier community.”
“Joe is a dedicated public servant who has spent his career ensuring Birmingham remains vibrant, prosperous, and on a path toward continued success,” said Boutros. “I’m proud to have worked with him and he is leaving us with a solid platform as we begin to look for a replacement.”
At the city commission meeting on Monday, October 12, commissioners will discuss a search process for Valentine’s replacement.
It is unclear who will become interim city manager once Valentine departs December 31, as assistant city manager Tiffany Gunter resigned in September.
Some city hall observers have suggested that the resignations of both Gunter and Valentine are a result of stress caused by some of the new members of the city commission who were elected in November 2019. Reportedly some new commission members have failed to stay within their defined roles as policy setters and have attempted on occasion to reach out directly to members of other city panels and city departments, causing tension within the ranks of city workers.