Timeline

  • On November 10, 2010, the Commission’s first day, Judge Jack Lowther administered my oath of office, and later that afternoon, I was elected Commission President by my fellow Commissioners.
  • On December 1, 2010, our 22nd day in office, Judge Charles Price ruled that Jefferson County legislators had improperly advertised the occupational license tax they passed.  As a direct result of Judge Price’s ruling, the County’s General Fund revenue was immediately decreased more than 30%.
  • On January 25th, our 77th day in office , the commission votes to cut $31.2 million from the fiscal 2011 budget after three days of budget hearings.
  • On March 16, 2011, our 127th day in office, the Alabama Supreme Court upheld Judge Price’s ruling that Jefferson County legislators had improperly advertised the occupational license tax.
  • On Wednesday, April 27th, 2011, our 169th day in office, the Commission immediately shifted into tornado relief mode as a series of powerful tornados devastated multiple Jefferson County communities, killing 21 residents.
  • On June 9th, 2011, our 212th day in office, the 2011 Regular Session of the Alabama Legislature ended without passage of a replacement to the occupational license tax struck down by the Alabama Supreme Court.
  • On June 14th, 2011, our 217th day in office, Sewer Receiver John Young announced the public meeting needed for him to immediately increase sewer rates a previously suggested 25%, with more 25% increases likely to follow.
  • Six days later, on June 20th, 2011, our 223rd day in office, Sewer Receiver John Young sent me a $75 million demand letter.  Had the Commission complied with the demand, it would have eliminated all of the County’s liquidity.  I immediately instructed the County’s attorneys to prepare a Chapter 9 bankruptcy resolution for Commission approval.
  • Nine days later, on June 29th, 2011, our 232nd day in office, just moments before the Commission was prepared to authorize the County’s attorneys to file for bankruptcy, the Commissioners received a signed “standstill” agreement from the Sewer Receiver that required him to cancel his rate increase public hearing and to postpone his demand for $75 million from the County in exchange for the County’s agreement to extend settlement negotiations.
  • On September 13, 2011, our 308th day in office, the Commission approved the sale of 238 nursing home bed licenses to Northport Holdings, LLC for $8.3 million.  It is Northport Holdings’ intent to use the bed licenses to open two new nursing homes in Jefferson County.  The County’s exit from the nursing home business will also save the County from continuing to incur multi-million annual operating losses.
  • On September 16, 2011, our 311th day in office, after countless hours of intense negotiations, the County Commission approved a conceptual term sheet with the Sewer Receiver, on behalf of the creditors, that outlined the terms and conditions of a definitive settlement document, which unfortunately never materialized for many reasons, including changes in creditor concessions and demands.
  • On October 3rd, 2011, our 328th day in office, Tony Petelos reported for duty as the County’s first county manager.
  • On November 9th, 2011, the last day of our first year in office, the County filed the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.
  • On November 21st, 2011, our 377th day in office, I was called by the creditors and the Sewer Receiver as an “adverse witness” in a federal bankruptcy court hearing to testify for you in determining the fate of the Sewer Receiver.
  • On December 15th, 2011, our 401st day in office, I was once again called to testify on your behalf in the federal bankruptcy court’s eligibility hearing.  After hearing testimony and summary arguments, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Thomas Bennett ruled from the bench that the County had met 4 of the 5 eligibility requirements for Chapter 9 bankruptcy.
  • On January 6, 2012, our 423rd day in office, Judge Bennett returned control of the sewer system to the County and blocked John Young from any sewer system operating responsibilities.  Since John Young was appointed by a state court judge, Judge Bennett was unable to remove him as receiver, but his ruling effectively neutralized Young’s powers.
  • On January 23rd, 2012, our 440th day in office, the County was hit by another series of devastating tornados, including at least one F3.
  • On March 4, 2012, our 481st day office, Judge Bennett ruled that the County met the 5th and final test for bankruptcy eligibility.
  • On March 6, 2012, our 483rd day in office, the Commission announced that the total number of county employees on the payroll has declined by 710 persons since February 2011 — a reduction of more than 21 percent in our first 15 months in office.
  • On March 28, 2012, our 505th day in office, the Commission unanimously agreed not to pay a $15+ million GO (general obligation) debt payment.
  • On April 20, 2012, our 528th day in office, the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that state law allows cities and counties in Alabama to file for Chapter 9 bankruptcy.  This ruling effectively eliminated the creditors’ appeal on the eligibility issue.
  • On April 26, 2012, our 534th day in office, the Bank of New York Mellon (acting as trustee for some of the County’s sewer warrant holders) returned $584,742 it took from a county bank account without the County’s approval.
  • On May 16, 2012, our 554th day in office, the 2012 regular session of the Alabama Legislature ended without a General Fund fix.
  • On May 31, 2012, our 569th day in office, HealthSouth filed an objection with the State Certificate of Need Board relating to the County’s proposed sale of its nursing home bed licenses to Northport Holdings, LLC, temporarily halting the sale of the licenses approved in September 2011.
  • On June 12, 2012, our 581st day in office, the Commission held its first public sewer rate hearing, which included presentations by David Denard, Director of the County’s Environmental Services Department, and Professor Stephanie Rauterkus, a finance professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
  • On June 29, 2012, our 598th day in office, Judge Bennett ruled that a reserve for capital expenses, depreciation, amortization or estimated professional fees cannot be charged to system revenues during the bankruptcy proceedings.
  • On July 24, 2012, our 623rd day in office, the Commission held its second public sewer rate hearing featuring sewer rate expert Eric Rothstein from Chicago, IL.
  • On August 20, 2012, our 650th day in office, the Commission voted to reject its lease for the Bessemer Courthouse and Jail in light of the ballooning lease payments and the County’s General Fund shortfall.
  • On August 20, 2012, the Commission held a third public sewer meeting featuring ADEM Director Lance LeFleur, who spoke about the cost of complying with future EPA mandates.
  • On August 24, 2012, our 654th day in office, the Alabama Supreme Court ruled in a case filed against the Jefferson County Personnel Board and Sheriff Mike Hale that governmental entities in the county merit system may deny merit system raises if those entities cannot afford the salary increases.
  • On August 28, 2012, our 658th day in office, the Commission voted 3-2 to begin the process of transitioning the County to a new indigent health care model.  Under the resolution approved by the Commission, Cooper Green Hospital would stop admitting persons for inpatient services no later than December 1, 2012.  Following that date, inpatient care will be provided by area providers via a contractual agreement to be negotiated between the providers and the County.
  • On August 28, 2012, U.S. District Judge Inge Johnson affirmed Bankruptcy Judge Thomas Bennett’s ruling that denied relief from the automatic stay for a lawsuit brought by Maralyn Mosley seeking to force the County to continue funding Cooper Green Hospital.
  • On September 11, 2012, our 672nd day in office, the Commission voted to accept and implement the recommendations made by the accounting firm of Warren Averett in its report concerning the Cooper Green Hospital Discretionary Fund and authorized the County Attorney to pursue collections actions for the payment of amounts improperly paid from the fund.
  • On September 11, 2012, the Commission voted to abolish the Cooper Green Hospital Discretionary Fund.
  • On September 11, 2012, the Commission adopted the “Hub and Spoke” model (developed by Max Michael, Dean of the School of Public Health at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and Martin Nowak) as Jefferson County’s new strategic direction for delivering cost-effective, quality healthcare to the indigent.
  • On September 11, 2012, the Commission voted to authorize Commissioner Knight and County Manager Petelos, in coordination with area healthcare providers and others as needed, to develop a proposed agreement for the provision of inpatient hospital care for the indigent.
  • On September 25, 2012, our 686th day in office, the Commission voted to approve a contract with Mr. Otis Story, former CEO of Grady Hospital in Atlanta, to oversee the transition of Jefferson County’s indigent care system.
  • On September 25, 2012, the Commission approved a term sheet with Ambac Assurance Corporation, the insurer on the Bessemer Courthouse warrants, which paves the way for the courthouse to remain at its current location.  The agreement represents the Commission’s first negotiated settlement with a significant bankruptcy creditor.  For more information, please visit: http://bit.ly/BessemerCourthouseSettlement.
  • On September 26, 2012, our 687th day in office, the Commission approved the FY2013 budget, which includes $205 million in General Fund expenditures–down from $312 million in FY2011 and $217 million in FY2012.  The FY2013 budget can be viewed at: http://bit.ly/JeffCoFY2013Budget.
  • On October 17, 2012, our 708th day in office, Bankruptcy Judge Thomas Bennett ruled in Jefferson County’s favor in a lawsuit filed by the City of Birmingham that sought to stop the County from transforming its broken indigent health care model.  In ruling, Judge Bennett stated that nothing in the law requires the County to operate a hospital or an emergency room.
  • On October 25, 2012, our 716th day in office, County Manager Tony Petelos announced an agreement with the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) under which UAB will accept Cooper Green patients for inpatient care.  The agreement is the first inpatient transfer agreement with a hospital since the Commission voted to close inpatient services at Cooper Green.
  • On October 29, 2012, our 720th day in office, the Commission received recommendations for a new sewer rate structure from the County’s sewer rate expect, Eric Rothstein.  Under the proposal, the average residential sewer bill will increase 46 cents per month.  For more information concerning the proposed rate changes, please visit: http://davidcarrington.org/commission-to-consider-sewer-rate-proposal/.
  • On November 6, 2012, our 728th day in office, the Commission approved the proposed sewer rate structure, voting 4-0 (Commissioner Bowman absent).
  • On November 15, 2012, our 737th day in office, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Thomas Bennett declined to rule on a motion for relief from stay filed by the trustee and sewer creditors relating to the sewer rate increases approved by the Commission.  Judge Bennett set a hearing on the issue for January 30th-31st.
  • On November 16, 2012, our 738th day in office, the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that the County does not have to return more than $90 million in occupational license tax receipts collected prior to Judge Price striking down the tax in December 2010.
  • On December 5, 2012, our 757th day in office, I testified before United States District Court Judge Lynwood Smith in a trial concerning the County’s 30-year consent decree involving the county’s hiring and promotional practices.
  • On December 19, 2012, our 771st day in office, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Thomas Bennett issued a ruling in which he rejected the City of Birmingham’s attempt to stop Jefferson County from ceasing inpatient and emergency room operations at Cooper Green Hospital.  In the decision, Judge Bennett ruled that Alabama law does not require the county to operate an indigent care hospital.  To read Judge Bennett’s ruling, please visit: http://bit.ly/Ch9_CGH_Opinion.
  • On January 1, 2013, our 784th day in office, Jefferson County opened the Cooper Green urgent and primary care center after ceasing in-patient care services at the former Cooper Green Hospital on December 31, 2012.  Going forward, in-patient care for the indigent will be provided by other area hospitals through contractual agreements with the county.  The county will continue to provide out-patient services for the indigent through Cooper Green.
  • On January 16, 2013, our 799th day in office, HealthSouth and Northport Holding reached a settlement agreement that will allow the County to sell 238 nursing home bed licenses to Northport for more than $8.3 million.  Northport will use the bed licenses to build two new nursing homes in Jefferson County.
  • On February 14, 2013, our 828th day in office, the Commission approved an agreement with Depfa Bank, holder of $162 million of the County’s school warrants, which lowers the interest rate charged to the County.  As part of the agreement, Depfa also pledged to support the County’s future plan of debt adjustment, which must be confirmed by the bankruptcy court prior to the County’s exit from bankruptcy.  The agreement marks the second consensual settlement with a creditor during the County’s ongoing bankruptcy process.
  • Also, on February 14, 2013, the Commission re-named “Cooper Green Mercy Hospital” as “Cooper Green Mercy Health Services” in recognition of the closure of in-patient and emergency room services at the former hospital.
  • On February 28, 2013, our 842nd day in office, the Commission unanimously approved the sale the County’s nursing home to Tara Jane, LLC.  The sale of the nursing home to Tara Jane will generate nearly $3 million for the County.
  • On May 16, 2013, our 919th day in office, the Commission approved an important settlement with two general obligation debtholders that will facilitate the County’s exit from Chapter 9 bankruptcy.  For more information, please read my blog post at http://bit.ly/2001BGO_settlement.
  • Also on May 16th, the Commission appointed Birmingham attorney Carol Sue Nelson as the County’s next lead County Attorney.
  • On June 1, 2013, our 935th day in office, ownership of the County’s nursing home formerly transferred to Tare Jane, LLC, who took over operations of the facility, as well as the care of all of the County’s remaining patients.  Tara Jane also extended employment offers to virtually all former County employees who desired employment with the new owner.  The County also closed on the sale of the nursing home bed licenses to Northport Holding, LLC.  Together, the sale of the nursing home and its bed licenses will bring in more than $11 million in much-needed cash for the County.
  • On June 4, 2013, our 938th day in office, the Commission approved bankruptcy plans support agreements (“PSAs”) with JP
    Morgan, the hedge funds, and the bond insurers, holders of more than three-quarters of the outstanding sewer debt.  The PSAs pave the way for the County to exit from bankruptcy.
  • On June 27, 2013, our 961st day in office, the Commission approved plan support agreements with National Public Finance Guarantee Corporation, a general obligation creditor, and three liquidity banks holding outstanding sewer warrants.   With this most recent sewer PSA, the County has reached consensual agreements with more than 80% of the County’s sewer creditors.
  • Also on June 27th, the Commission also approved the filing the County’s Chapter 9 Plan of Adjustment, as well as the issuance of a Request for Proposals (“RFP”) for the  the sale of the refunding sewer warrants.  The RFP provides that any underwriter that communicates with a Commissioner or a Commissioner’s staff will be immediately eliminated from consideration in order to ensure that no one has undue influence on the selection process.
  • In keeping with Jefferson County’s previously announced schedule, the County filed its Plan of Adjustment and the accompanying Disclosure Statement on June 30, 2013, our 964th day in office.
  • On July 23, 2013, our 987th day in office, the Commission approved an Amended Financing Plan relating to the sewer warrants proposed to be issued by the County to implement the terms of its Chapter 9 Plan of Adjustment.
  • Also on July 23rd, the Commission approved a plan support agreement with Lehman Brothers and a settlement agreement with the IRS relating to the tax-exempt status of interest on the County’s outstanding sewer warrants.
  • On August 6, 2013, our 1001st day in office, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Thomas Bennett approved the County’s bankruptcy disclosure statement, enabling the County to solicit votes from the creditors to approve the County’s bankruptcy exit plan.
  • On August 20, 2013, our 1015th day in office, U.S. District Judge Lynwood Smith approved a motion to hold Jefferson County in contempt for violating its personnel consent decree and ordered the appointment of a receiver over the County’s Human Resources Department.
  • On October 17, 2013, our 1073rd day in office, the Commission approved the appointment of a trustee and an underwriting syndicate needed to issue the new sewer warrants that will allow the County to exit from bankruptcy.  In addition, the County approved a resolution terminating the previously approved Plan Support Agreements if the sewer creditors fail to come up with $300 million in additional economic concessions in the next 15 days.  For more information concerning the termination of the Plan Support Agreements, please see:  http://davidcarrington.org/statement-concerning-notice-of-sewer-plan-support-agreement-terminations/.
  • On October 31, 2013, our 1087th day in office, the Commission approved an Amended Financing Plan after receiving $300 million in additional sewer creditor concessions.
  • On November 19, 2013, our 1106th day in office, the Commission received commitments to purchase $1.7 billion in new sewer warrants in order to re-finance the County’s $3.2 billion in sewer debt.
  • On November 21, 2013, our 1108th day in office, U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Thomas Bennett confirmed the County’s Plan of Adjustment, paving the way for the County to exit bankruptcy the first week of December.
  • On December 3, 2013, our 1120th day in office, the County closed on the sale of $1.78 billion in new sewer warrants and emerged from the second largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.
  • On August 1, 2014, our 1361st day in office, Deputy County Manager for Infrastructure Dan Biles began his employment with the County.  Mr. Biles previously served as Executive Director for Public Works with Corpus Christi, TX.
  • On September 23, 2014, our 1414th day in office, the Commission approved the FY2015 budget for the County.  The budget fully opens the Bessemer jail and partially restores funding for road projects and other services through the use of one-time money from the County’s reserves.  The complete budget may be viewed at: http://bit.ly/1sYYG14.
  • On September 30, 2014, our 1421st day in office, U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Blackburn ruled that an appeal challenging the bankruptcy court’s confirmation order can move forward.
  • On October 10, 2014, our 1431st day in office, the County filed a motion with the U.S. District Court requesting an appeal to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals of Judge Blackburn’s September 30, 2014 ruling.
  • On December 18, 2014, our 1499th day in office, the Commission approved $50,000 in discretionary incentives for IMS/STERIS Corp. which will result in IMS  establishing a global headquarters in Jefferson County for the company’s specialty services division, creating 100 new job in the County.
  • On March 19, 2015, our 1591st day in office, the Commission approved tax abatement agreements related to U.S. Steel’s $277,500,000 capital investment in Jefferson County.
  • On March 19, 2015, the Commission also approved discretionary incentives related to Oxford Pharmaceutical’s $29,000,000 investment in Jefferson County, which will create 200 jobs.
  • On May 27, 2015, our 1660th day in office, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley signed into law a bill that will allow Jefferson County to refinance its school construction debt and generate $36 million for the General Fund and economic development.