Next Birmingham Mayor Will Face Challenges

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - Birmingham's next mayor will face a
daunting financial dilemma.

He'll inherit a city with $21 million in unbudgeted expenses,
declining revenue and the prospect of significant program cuts.

William Bell and Patrick Cooper face each other in a runoff
election Jan. 19 and both have already come up with plans to
address the situation.

Bell wants to restructure the city's capital spending and
refinancing bonds.

Cooper wants every city contract scrubbed to make sure the city
is getting what it pays for.

Both agree the city needs to bring in an outside expert to
create controls so the city doesn't face another shortfall crisis.


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