CITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT: Gosh, Bernie, you look down. What’s the problem, big guy?
MAYOR: I’m so depressed. I’m the mayor of a third-tier city, and I really wish I were the mayor of a second-tier city.
PRESIDENT: Yeah, that is a bummer.
HEAD OF CONVENTION CENTER: I know what we’ll do! Let’s build a dome!
MAYOR: A dome! That would be great! We’ll have a second-tier city in no time!
ANOTHER COUNCILLOR: I don’t know, Bernie. We don’t have any major professional sports teams, and nobody’s going to move one here, and Alabama’s going to stop playing games here in a couple years, and nobody goes to the UAB games.
MAYOR: Stop being so negative! We’re going to build a dome! Dave, you and I will draw the plans and call the architects. Judy, Steve, you find a site and declare imminent domain. Bobby, you sell the naming rights. The rest of you, go mug some taxpayers to pay for it!
The story above is fictional, yet in a very real sense true. I have no idea what the names of the Birmingham City Council are, but the mayor really is named “Bernard”.