Ernest W. "Rainy" Collins, 1911-2004, Mayor of Tuscaloosa from 1976 to 1981



Ernest W. "Rainy" Collins, 1911-2004, Mayor of Tuscaloosa from 1976 to 1981


Collins, Ernest W. "Rainy," 1911-2004


Ernest W. "Rainy" Collins (1911 - 2004) was mayor of Tuscaloosa from 1976-1981., elected from a field of 20 candidates after the death of Mayor C. Snow Hinton in office.

Collins' was unopposed in 1977 and was re-elected for a full term, which was plagued with controversy.

In 1976, he devoted nearly half of the city's $1.5 million federal Community Development funds to two massive drainage and related street improvement projects in West End and Alberta City. Collins was criticized by various groups of city employees, mostly in the police and fire departments, for that allocation of funds. City employees wanted bigger raises, the Tuscaloosa News reported at that time.

Finances were a big problem in the city due to the closing of the Gulf States Paper Corporation mill. The new garbage pickup program using the green carts was also controversial at the time.

In 1978, the city had to borrow money for the first time in years to make it through the year. In 1980, a new 1-cent sales tax was initiated to help the financially troubled city.

in 1981, Collins was defeated by his only challenger, retired city employee Al DuPont.

Collins was born Nov. 25, 1911 in Gallion, Alabama. He was a retired Gen. of Alabama National Guard, president of Northington Laundry, president of Dollarhide Hunting Club , lifetime deacon of The First Baptist Church, president of the Boy's Club of Tuscaloosa County, lifetime member of Tuscaloosa Exchange Club, and Citizen of the Year,

Ernest "Rainy" Collins died in 2004.


West Alabama Regional Commission


Tuscaloosa Public Library
Betty Slowe (Description)






Tuscaloosa (AL)

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