Author: Nikhita Mudium
Tuesday’s City Council meeting saw tearful goodbyes to District 8 Councilor Steven Hoyt, a 16-year senior member of the Birmingham city council and a fierce defender of Birmingham’s 8th District. Hoyt’s fiery bouts with members on the council dais and the four mayors who have presided during his tenure remain iconic hallmarks of council and greater city politics.
“I’ve learned from you. From you I will always remember to speak true to power,” said Councilor Crystal Smitherman of District 8. “I will always remember to have my voice and to speak up when it’s the right thing to do, even if others don’t think so.”
As a member of the City Council for the past 16 years, Hoyt was instrumental in improving District 8 and shaping the future of Birmingham, including the approval of the Birmingham Crossplex and the Tuxedo Terrace apartment community. Hoyt has been nationally recognized for his annual Party With a Purpose events and has awarded over $102,000 in scholarships to college-bound seniors in the Birmingham City Schools.
“I think Councilor Hoyt’s legacy that he’s leaving behind is one of fighting for the communities that he represents and speaking up for the little guy and making sure that the opportunities that are available in the city of Birmingham are done so equitably,” said Councilor Darrell O’Quinn of District 5.
Outside of legislature, Councilor Hoyt also serves on many civic and social boards within the county. He is currently the pastor of the Noble Chapel CME Church.
“I’m going to miss your knowledge over the last 16 years have been just profound,” said President John Hilliard. “I hope that as your great, great, great grandchildren will then one day view this. I want to tell them that your grandfather, City Councilman Steven Hoyt, was a very intelligent, able-bodied, and brilliant man. He brought so much to the Birmingham City Council and to his constituents and to this city and to this state.”
With family and friends present, Councilor Hoyt was awarded the highest commendation from the council for his conscious and dedicated service to Jefferson County and Birmingham.
Also during the council meeting, the city council revoked Club Euphoria’s license to operate, citing widespread safety concerns and zoning violations. Residents and churchgoers from the Highlands United Methodist Church cite shootings, alcohol waste, parking violations, defecation and inappropriate scenes originating from the club. Nearby neighborhoods claim the club is a nuisance for elderly residents and young children going to school in the area.
The council heard the case due to similar complaints back in July, when the hearing was postponed to provide the establishment with sufficient time to improve the environment. Ultimately, the conditions were not met and the license for operation was revoked today, according to the council.
Lastly, the council also passed motions allowing the city council website to be revamped and made more easily accessible. The council also discussed that some branches of the Birmingham Public Library system will be closing soon to take care of infrastructure issues.