Hale County Commission report

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 5, 2004

The Hale County Commission voted Tuesday to have Adam Jones, the new county solid waste director, work out of the county courthouse instead of an office at the landfill.

Commissioner Walter Allen voted against the motion.

Commission Chairman Leland Avery has suggested that bills begin to be sent to Dogwood Lane by June 1 as Jones was going to work out of his office at the county landfill.

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Commissioner Joe Lee Hamilton Jr. advised that Jones’ office be in the courthouse because of all the computer work that is required. Considerable repairs and security would be needed for Jones to have an office at the landfill, said commissioner Yolanda Watkins. She was concerned that computer equipment installed at the landfill might be stolen.

Watkins made a motion to move Jones’ office next to the commission office in the courthouse. “Moving that stuff (computers, printers, etc.) out there (at the landfill) would be the wrong move,” Hamilton said.

There is a special printer in the commission office where the bills and delinquent letters are printed, said County Administrator Regina Shavers. It would be good for Jones to be next to the commission office, she said. “If any problems occur, he will be here.

“…The repairs and everything – the computer equipment that Mr. Jones will need out at the landfill – it’s going to be expensive,” Shavers said.

Hamilton also made a motion to move Jones to the courthouse because the county could not afford his salary and also pay for additional improvements at the landfill office. The address for paying bills would remain the same.

Commissioner Allen said Jones would need a place to issue garbage carts. Hamilton said they could be housed at the old jail. “I don’t think it will be a problem,” Hamilton said.

Commissioners Watkins, Hamilton and Lois Fields voted in favor of the motion; Allen voted against.

Fields also complained that there was not a job description for the solid waste director.

In addition, a proposed resolution was read by Shavers asking for financial reports to be provided by department heads. The resolution included a reference to a recent suit against the county concerning the county jail.

Allen asked why those departments were being picked on. “We’ve got a clerk or administrator (Shavers) who’s supposed to keep us informed of where our monies are,” he said. “I won’t have anything to do with that resolution.”

“You took the resolution the wrong way,” Fields told Allen. “…All we’re asking is for a monthly update like (as) the county engineer comes to each meeting. Other department heads could come and report also.”

Allen was still opposed to the resolution.

Watkins complained that Avery, serving as probate judge, had gone to a state representative to have a local tax passed due to the financial situation the jail is in.

“I don’t ask the representative to pass a tax,” Avery said. “You (the commission) vote on things for the representative…to send before the legislature.”

“Well, you asked for a tax specifically for the Hale County Jail,” Fields said.

“I can ask anything I want to ask,” Leland said, “but it’s got to be brought up before the commission.”

All they wanted was monthly reports from the departments, Fields said.

Avery said he was happy that Fields was paying attention to the financial situation. “Have we closed out September of 2003 yet?” Avery asked Shavers. Hamilton asked for a recess to calm the discussion.

How can commissioners know the financial status of the various departments if the administrator doesn’t have the books up to date? Avery asked. “That’s the administrator’s duties.”

Fields said it was not too much to ask for a monthly report from the departments.

The motion to adopt the resolution failed. Allen, Hamilton and Avery voted against. Watkins and Fields voted in favor.