City Council meeting, Aug. 11, 2014 — Smith appointment

Ward 4, Place 1 filled

Jenifer Champ Wallis’ recent departure for a Los Angeles law practice left a hole on Ward 4’s all woman team, but that was made whole again with the appointment tonight of applicant Barry Smith.

Ms. Smith was one of 11 candidates for the position and her selection, if nothing else, preserves the council’s delicate gender imbalance– or at least doesn’t leave Place 2 representative Heather Reid the lone woman out of 11. Smith’s application, however, reveals there IS something else to her qualifications.

Ms. Smith has a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism, and worked several years at Oxmoor House publishing right out of school in 1995, and then three years as managing editor for Portico, the now defunct lifestyle magazine. She is married and has two sons, both in Homewood schools. After Portico, Ms. Smith took a job as assistant nursery director and teacher at Trinity, then moved up to director. She continues to edit and write as a freelancer, according to her resume.

She points to several volunteer roles in Homewood church and schools, but also to delivering Meals On Wheels to Homewood clients. No other applicant included letters of recommendation and Ms. Smith’s three sponsors — including her predecessor at Trinity and a publishing contact, also from Homewood, Julie Keith of UAB, point repeatedly to a high work ethic, dedication, and organizational skill.

Ms. Smith must be sworn in before she takes over her official duties. She will not necessarily take over Ms. Wallis’ committee assignments, however.




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