Residents call on Birmingham City Council to make changes to Mayor Woodfin’s proposed 2023 budget

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) – Members of the Birmingham community have weighed in on Mayor Randall Woodfin’s proposed $517 million budget for the fiscal year 2023.

Dozens of people came to City Hall to tell Birmingham City Council what they wanted the city to spend.

“I hope you all review this budget and take our concerns seriously,” said Susan Palmer, a resident of the Central Park neighborhood. “Because it’s time we were promised things and not given those things that are promised to us.”

The 2023 budget is not yet set in stone, the council must still vote on it before July 1. He has $517 million split between police, fire, increases for city workers, streets and more.

But many residents told the council they wanted more money for flood prevention, libraries, street resurfacing and neighborhood revitalization for older homes.

Residents said their cars were wrecked by potholes, lights were out in some parking lots and they wanted money for food deserts in northern parts of the city.

The chair of the city’s budget and finance committee, Crystal Smitherman, said they were only required to hold one community budget meeting, but she wanted to hold two. She said she likes to know exactly what residents want fixed, so she can go back and negotiate with the mayor before the budget is voted on.

“Being able to talk to the mayor about ‘hey, these are the priorities these people want, let’s see if we can move the money around to change it, or if not, let’s see if we can get a grant or some federal funding for their needs,'” said Smitherman.

Council will hold another community feedback meeting on June 16 at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall.

Smitherman said to make sure you get there early and register at the front desk to talk.

There will also be another opportunity to ask questions about the budget on June 13 at the end of their regular budget meeting. Smitherman said you just have to register up front.

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