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Elaine McLain named new Birmingham mayor

By Grace Lovins

Commissioners Elaine McLain and Katie Schafer were appointed by the Birmingham city commission as the new city mayor and mayor pro tem, respectively, during the Monday, November 13, meeting.

Following the November 2023 election, the commission spent a portion of the meeting discussing and selecting the next two individuals to fill the roles. McLain served as the mayor pro tem from November 2022 until November 2023, under previous mayor commissioner Therese Longe. During a workshop session held before the regular meeting, commissioners revisited their goals and expectations of the individual who will fill the role. The commission had common expectations for the new mayor, saying they are looking for someone who is dedicated to the role and the public and engaged.

Commissioners Therese Longe, Clinton Baller and Katie Schafer all stated that mayor pro tem Elaine McLain embodied those characteristics and would be well suited to take on a position as mayor.

“I think [McLain] has shown a tremendous dedication to being prepared to take on this role next. She’s become involved in – after having been the cable lady for 16 years – she has taken it one step further this past year and getting much more involved,” Schafer said.

McLain also took the opportunity to express who she thought would make a good right-hand to the mayor, noting that Schafer has the ability to meet the needs of everyone in the community.

“I would recommend that if we are going to meet the needs of all of our community…we need to look at our young families, single families, entrepreneurs and people who are going to build and come into the city make this apart of the fabric of their family, and we have a businessperson here who does that for a living,” McLain said.

McLain and Schafer received unanimous support.


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