Fiery exchange between mayor, councilman heats up debate over Birmingham parking deck sale

This is an opinion column.

They paved paradise

And put up a parking lot

—lyrics from “Big Yellow Taxi” (Joni Mitchell)

Paradise. Not sure the word can be associated with Birmingham—not right now, at least.

There’s too much distrust. Too much pettiness. Too much opacity. Too much territorialism. Too much insecurity. Too much fear. Too much (just speaking truth, y’all) ignorance.

Too much this is how we’ve always done it.

Just too much.

Right now, and at least for the next few weeks, the chasm between the two words – paradise and Birmingham – is about the size of, oh, a parking deck.

Six of them, frankly. Six city-owned parking decks (five downtown, one on the Southside) that might be sold to a group of rich folks headed by one of the area’s richest—Shipt founder Bill Smith—for at least $41,375,000.

Might because the very idea of the sale has

Read More