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Workshop discusses next mayor and pro tem

By Grace Lovins


Birmingham commissioners held a workshop before the regular meeting on Monday, November 13, to discuss who they felt should be the next mayor and mayor pro tem of Birmingham.


Back in May, the commission decided that they should hold a workshop session prior to the November meeting during which the next mayor and mayor pro tem would be selected. The purpose of the workshop was to discuss what characteristics and qualifications they want to see in the next two individuals to take on the positions.


Commissioner Clinton Baller kicked off the discussion by stating he feels current mayor pro tem Elaine McLain has shown the characteristics a mayor should have, and recommended she move up to mayor.


Baller’s comments were echoed by the rest of the commission, who noted that McLain has proven to be dedicated to the city and the position.


The commission also discussed the mayor serving a two-year term as opposed to one year, which was the trend prior to 2020. Mayor Therese Longe said that the first year is spent learning and getting used to things, but the second year is where you’re able to get things moving.


Commissioners agree that the two-year term limit was a good thing and felt it provided better continuity. They also noted that the mayor pro tem position is a good opportunity to serve as a so-called apprentice, allowing that individual to get ready to take on the mayorship, only if the rest of the commission feels that individual suits the role.


Outgoing commissioner Pierre Boutros left the commission with food for thought before his final meeting. He explained that on top of the mayor having a term limit, he felt commissioners should have term limits, saying that this is something the current commission should keep in mind.


No formal action was taken by the commission.

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