Most all Alabamians have heard of Jefferson County’s critically severe financial problems, but most likely very few know how truly bad things really are. Because of the importance of this matter to the entire state, I believe the Alabama Legislature has an obligation to help Jefferson County avoid bankruptcy. That will require a Special Session of the Legislature to help fix the county’s problems. David Perry, chief of staff for Gov. Bentley, said recently that a wide range of solutions are still under discussion. But the Governor has made it very clear that the Jefferson County Legislators must get together before he will call a Special Session. To really solve the county’s problems, the Jefferson County delegation will have to get together and be a part of the solution instead of being a major part of the problem.
If Jefferson County’s problems aren’t solved, and very soon, every municipality, school board, and county commission in the state, as well as ordinary folks who pay taxes, will be adversely impacted. I see this as a statewide problem. Common sense tells me, we can’t afford to let our state’s largest county continue down a road to financial destruction. If that happens, all Alabama citizens will be affected adversely.
It appears members of the Jefferson County delegation are divided over proposals to help solve the county’s sewer debt and operating budget woes. All of the Jefferson County legislators must put the interests of the citizens in their county first. There are a few who haven’t done that. There are ten bills being advertised that deal with Jefferson County’s problems.
Many people in our state do not realize the adverse consequences that would result if our largest country was forced to file bankruptcy. But folks who deal in such things as government financing and industrial recruitment know that it would be very bad for all of Alabama. In my opinion, the impact of bankruptcy would be devastating!
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