WHO ARE THEY?
A council member universally admired tenders her resignation to almost everyone’s surprise. Who will fill her expired term?
They are lawyers and journalists and small business owners and workers. They are college graduates and fairly evenly divided between women and men. They have lived in Homewood as long as 30 years and as briefly as a few years–maybe less. If they were a football team, the 11 applicants for the Ward 4, Place 1 council spot vacated by Jenifer Champ Wallis would surely play for the Crimson Tide. Seven of the applicants graduated from the university in Tuscaloosa, some of them twice. The word Auburn does not appear in any resume.
If cover letters are to be believed, they are passionate about the city and want to contribute to its bright future. If resumes are reliable, they have never held elective office nor have they–except for Joe Stephens, who lost to Ward 4 representative Heather Reid in 2012–shown any interest in running for one. (This is an appointed position after all.) And, although most resumes list engagement in area charities and events, only 7 of the 11 applicants list any volunteer service in Homewood city limits.
Indeed, as applicant Bob Blalock, former Birmingham News editorial writer, points out in his cover letter, he only learned of the Ward 4 vacancy by reading a yellow flyer stapled to a telephone pole while he was out for a run. The following is a summary of applicants, in alpha order, with thumbnails of any Homewood-related service, education and notable observations, if any, from the resumes. But don’t stop there. A link to the complete file of applicants’ letters and resumes, and interview schedule, is at the bottom of this post.
Ward 4 map. Click for link to zoomable image.
Alabama Power Co., content developer
Past HCS Foundation position
B.S. Engineering, UA
Notable: Learned about vacancy by accident.
Facilities manager, Mt. Brook Club
Attended HPD Police Citizens Academy
B.S. Public Administration, La Salle University
Lawyer, Engel, Hairston & Johanson
No HW-related service listed
B.S., business, summa cum laude, UA/Law degree, UA
VP, Sales, Truitt Insurance and Bonding
No HW-related service listes
BS, Biology, Samford University
Notable: Lists that he is a competitive “ultra distance” trail runner
Paralegal, trial preparation
President, HCS Educational Advisory Comm./HCS PTO posts
BA, Communication Arts, James Madison U.
Notable: Family transplanted to HW during Katrina
Pharmaceutical sales, Eli Lilly
No HW community service listed
BS, Engineering/MBA, both UA
Part-owner, operator, Magic City Sportswear
Board of Zoning Adjustments seat, 2014
BS, Business Administration, UA
AP government, history teacher, HHS
HW community work all related to professional duties
BS, MS, secondary education/social studies, JSU
Notable: Extensive professional achievements, awards
(Ms.) Barry Smith
Trinity Church nursery director
HCS PTO officer(s)/Meals on Wheels/Board, HCS Foundation
BA, Communications, Miss. State Univ./MA, Journalism, UA
Notable: Extensive publications/editorial experience
Agent, Princor Financial Services
Owner, Edgewood Wealth Advisors
HW Commercial Development Authority
BA, Organizational Communications, UA
MA, Political Communications, UA
Notable: Ran and lost against current Ward 4 rep. Heather Reid in 2012
Lawyer, Parsons, Lee & Juliano
Board membership, HCS Foundation, HW Athletic Foundaton, Safe and Healthy HW Coalition (schools-related anti-drug organization)
BA, History, Spring Hill College; Law degree, UA
Click here to see the complete letters of application and resumes from each applicant. [
*The cover letter and 2-page resume from Mr. Cameron were reluctantly removed Aug. 3 at the request of Ward 4 council member Heather Reid due to Mr. Cameron’s notation “Confidentiality Requested” on the cover letter.
**Mr. Blalock’s resume contains a date oversight. He is not still working for the Birmingham News.