Beyond the Build


Time to Serve

These days, we have a solid group of both office and field management who are leading Stewart/Perry well, probably the best we have had. Because of this, I felt like I could make the commitment to assist the Mayor of Birmingham when he asked me to serve our city by being part of his transition team. I have always held a great deal of respect for those who serve the public sector of our government, particularly elected officials, and probably even more so now.

As Randall moves into his second term of office, my group is focused on how to make our city operate better in the areas of Accountability and Efficient government. There are four other focus groups running parallel to our work:

Entrepreneurship & Economic Development

Neighborhood Housing & Homelessness

Arts, Culture & Entertainment

Education & Talent

In regards to accountable and efficient government, here are the 3 areas where we have focused thus far.

  1. Planning Engineering and Permits (PEP). Ensuring the director has the technical support resources needed to accomplish her goals in 2022. She has a good program outlined. Having worked in hundreds of towns and cities over the years, and this is an area that is of particular importance.
  2. Human Resources Management. Finding the best systems to make HR transparent and easily accessible by our several thousand employees.
  3. Hiring. Connect people to OPPORTUNITIES on a public platform that allows people to support their livelihood and be a positive addition to public service organizations. We are inspired by Baltimore Corps, and what it has done for the City of Baltimore the last decade.

If you haven’t read about Baltimore Corps, their work is worth researching. Their goal is to enlist new talented people in solving challenges, with the goal of racial equity in mind. They serve as a catalyst to get the right people working on the right problems at the right time, and we are championing the same for our city.  We want to define the city by opportunity, not problems, and I can honestly say that goal has never felt more attainable.

Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and CEO of The Stewart/Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.