Bettye Fine Collins
Collins has a bachelor of science from Faulkner University. She was the first woman to be appointed to the Birmingham Board of Zoning Adjustments in 1973. She was appointed to the Birmingham Board of Education in 1974 and served two terms as president before resigning in 1981 when she was elected to an at-large seat on the Birmingham City Council. She was re-elected twice, but was not successful in the 1987 City Council election.
Collins was named Birmingham Woman of the Year in 1993. She serves on the advisory board for the Jimmie Hale Mission and has been recognized for her support of the Girl Scouts of America and for Habitat for Humanity. She is also Alabama's National Committeewoman to the Republican Party. Previously she has served on the Alabama State School Board and the Alabama Public Library Service Executive Board.
She was elected to represent District 4 in 1994. Often a minority of one on the commission, then headed by Larry Langford, she criticized the numerous bond deals being negotiated, but often voted for them when they came before her. She assumed the presidency after the 2006 general election which brought a Republican majority to the commission under the slogan "No debt. No dome. No democrats." As president she served as head of the County's Finance and General Services Department, which oversees accounting records, revenues, and public buildings. During her term the Jefferson County debt crisis unfolded, placing the county at risk of the largest bankruptcy by a local government in history. She joined with Democrats Shelia Smoot and William Bell to create a 3-person majority in opposition to her Republican colleagues, Jim Carns and Bobby Humphryes, disagreeing with them on the best course to resolve the issue. Her change of allegiance made her an outcast among GOP loyalists and the county's inability to make progress on its debts left her open to attacks from all sides. In January 2010 she announced that she would not run in the June 2010 election for a fifth term in the County Commission.
Collins' brother, Joe Fine, runs Fine Gettie & Associates, one of Alabama's leading organizer of political action committees. Collins also works as a real estate agent. She is a resident of Trussville's Dew Gardens neighborhood and a member of First Baptist Church of Trussville. She is a widow with two children (David and Kim) and four grandchildren.
|Jefferson County Commission president
2006 - 2010
|Jefferson County Commission District 4
- Kelly, Mark (March 20, 2008) "Pieces of the puzzle." Birmingham Weekly
- Archibald, John (February 10, 2009) "Archibald: Fire up the Prius and bolt, Bettye." Birmingham News
- Whitmire, Kyle (January 7, 2010) "Collins calls it quits: Commission president won't seek reelection." Birmingham Weekly