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Cook for Vestavia Hills City Council

Leading Progress, Serving People

PUBLIC SERVICE

In almost four years of public service, Kimberly has equipped herself to understand her responsibilities as an elected official by completing 40 hours of training to earn her Certified Municipal Official degree from the Alabama League of Municipalities. Coursework included ethics and law training related to her public service.


During her tenure as city councilor, Kimberly has served as the Education Liaison, attending School Board meetings and leading the school board appointment process. She also serves with Councilor Pierce on the Annexation Review Committee, and works to advocate for teen health issues as a legislative representative to Help the Hills Coalition. Kimberly lobbied successfully to get the Teen Vaping Bill passed in the 2019 Legislative Session.


Kimberly works with local business owners and residents to get their concerns heard, and brings people together to develop smart solutions to promote the health, safety and welfare of Vestavia Hills. Kimberly led the recent Inter-City Recycling Competition to bring greater awareness to recycling and ways to reduce contamination. Kimberly has been a tireless advocate for paving of Sicard Hollow Road and the Crosshaven improvement project. She helped coordinate community meetings to discuss East Street traffic issues, which resulted in sidewalks to promote pedestrian safety. She supports local business through relationships with business owners and support for new merchant organizations, to bring greater vitality and industry to our city. She encouraged community engagement that resulted in the projects now being completed through the City's Infrastructure and Community Spaces plan, and asked the City Manager to develop a complete repvaing plan to ensure all streets in the city are paved once every 20 years. She works to make sure government works smarter to accomplish the goals and priorities of our citizens. She mediates conversations between residents and developers to achieve compromises that help neighborhoods.


Kimberly holds monthly Coffee and Conversation meetings so residents can share their thoughts and concerns. She has encouraged residents to be their own advocates by facilitating neighborhood meetings to discuss traffic and other issues. She helped guide the conversation to achieve parity in Liberty Park community schools. She has put feet to the idea that citizens should be their own advocates and has helped citizen leaders find their voice and gain easier access to government decision-making.


Kimberly is one of the founding members of the Jefferson County Councilor Round Table, a group of Jefferson County city councilors who work cooperatively to bring greater prosperity and a stronger sense of community to Jefferson County. Her connections with other city councilors help her be a more effective advocate for issues such as recycling and traffic safety.

COVID-19 RESPONSE

In recent months, Kimberly has worked to get information from state and county health departments to help citizens understand their Covid-19 risks and get our businesses back open. She believes in using her platform to effectuate change not just at the local level, but at the state level as well.


She has investigated numbers for long-term care facility (LTCF) deaths and helped direct citizens to information that helps them assume personal responsibility to protect their families. She has participated in several webinars and asked state leaders tough questions to support greater transparency in decision-making. She advocated with the County to prevent elderly patients being transported back to LTCFs before they tested negative for the virus. Kimberly voted to approve the Mayor's letter to Governor Ivey urging her to open our state businesses while observing careful health practices, and has advocated for equity for our small businesses with the Governor, State Health Officer and County Health Officer.

SENIORS

Kimberly enjoys visiting New Merkel House seniors and helped, on an emergency basis, to deliver Meals on Wheels to our most vulnerable population during the Covid-19 crisis. Kimberly was an early advocate for a new Senior Center to provide a more accessible place for seniors and others in the Cahaba Heights neighborhood to enjoy activities and fellowship. She is proud of the new facility that will help expand services to our seniors.
New Merkel House, 5th Grade lunch visit; above photo provided as a courtesy from Karen Askins Photography

PTO

Joan Ragsdale Copeland, Thank you for your endorsement of my candidacy for city council.


In spring 2014, I applied for the school board for the first of four times. Part of that process was to gather recommendation letters from people with whom I had worked closely in various capacities over the years. Joan served as the second PTO President at our neighborhood middle school (Liberty Park Middle)--a foundational role as our school experienced all the start-up challenges and opportunities of new beginnings.


In the early days of LPMS, I implemented an online registration system, at no cost to the school system and modeled after one I helped start at VHELP the previous year along with Anne Siple. At the time, none of the other schools in our system had online registration, and I credit Anne with being the first at VHELP to suggest we should try developing our own process.


In LPMS's first full year of operation, our principal, Kacy Pierce, was bold enough to allow me this experiment, which streamlined the registration process for parents and our school bookkeeper, and was a prototype for future registration processes. I developed the process and all the written instructions for parents, as well as guiding parents through this new process as the only "help desk" contact.


During this same time, I also served on the board as the V.P. Newsletter Editor for two years, creating the first online and printed PTO newsletter for our school.

COMMUNITY

Kimberly is a long-time resident of Vestavia Hills. Shortly before moving to Vestavia Hills in 2002, she resigned her job as a senior systems engineer with SouthTrust Data Services to devote more time to her family and community volunteerism. Kimberly is a graduate of the College of William and Mary and holds a degree in Computer Science and Music.


Ever since her oldest son entered Scouting, Kimberly has been a volunteer leader. Currently, she is a Commissioner for the Vulcan District Boy Scouts, serving Pack 776 (Grace, a United Methodist congregation). She served for several years as Membership Chairman for the Vulcan District Committee, and spent many years as an active leader in her son’s Boy Scout troop in Liberty Park. Kimberly enjoys camping, being outdoors, and working to improve the character and leadership skills of our youth. Kimberly is a Greater Alabama Council recipient of the Silver Beaver award, one of Scouting's highest honors for volunteer leaders. She also earned the Vulcan District Award of Merit and completed BSA's Wood Badge leadership training course.


Kimberly is active in her church, having taught youth Sunday School for over 20 years at Dawson Family of Faith. Kimberly is a stateside prayer advocate for a missionary team serving in the Horn of Africa and Netherlands. She helped her daughter start an organization, Let the Children Come, to raise funds for and lead a week-long camp for Ethiopian orphans. Kimberly is an active member of a Dawson Life Group and is the pianist for the church orchestra. Recently, Kimberly led a team of volunteers to conduct a week-long camp for children of missionaries in northern Europe.


Kimberly has developed many connections over the years through her work with PTOs at four of our city schools--Pizitz Middle School, Liberty Park Middle School, Liberty Park Elementary, and the high school. Kimberly has held a variety of positions, such as Room Mom, Registration Chairman, Partners in Education Chairman, Corporate Fundraising Chairman, V.P. Newsletter Editor at LPMS and VHHS and member of the Cash for Classrooms Committee. Her service in the PTO has given her a broad knowledge of our school system. Most importantly, her service in the PTO has yielded valued friendships and connections that assist her in being a more effective elected official.


In her spare time, Kimberly enjoys blogging, responding to constituent concerns on Facebook, playing the piano, writing, hiking, camping, cycling and quilting.


Kimberly enjoys visiting with friends at New Merkel.

2016, first work session with the new Council

Kimberly enjoys working with students, and mentoring young women.

FAMILY

Kimberly’s husband, Greg, is a partner in the law firm of Balch & Bingham. Greg serves on the Executive Committee for the Jefferson County Republican Party and is General Counsel to the Alabama Republican Party (ALGOP). He is an ordained deacon for the Dawson Family of Faith. 

Kimberly has three children who have graduated from Vestavia Hills High School--Geoffrey, Class of 2010; Mary Catherine, Class of 2014; and Will, class of 2019. Geoffrey, a graduate of the University of Alabama and Eagle Scout, is a software developer in Washington, D.C. Mary Catherine is a summa cum laude with Highest Honors graduate from Vanderbilt University, working as a professional staffer on the Senate Education Committee (Sen. Lamar Alexander) and starting her law degree at Harvard Law School, in Fall of 2020. Will is an Eagle Scout and student at the University of Alabama.