Dismissal of suit is good news

Published 9:57 pm Tuesday, October 28, 2008

We are glad to hear of Sheriff Kevin Davis’ dismissal of a lawsuit against the Chilton County Commission. The suit, which claimed the Sheriff’s Department was not adequately budgeted for the 2007-08 fiscal year, was filed in Chilton County Circuit Court in June of this year.

The lawsuit named the county as a whole, as well as the seven individual commissioners. It sought a Writ of Mandamus to force the commission to fund the sheriff’s original budget and grant injunctive relief in an expedited manner to aid with the sheriff’s funding problems.

Fortunately, Davis and the commission were able to sit down and come up with a plan that seemed to work for everyone. Nobody got everything they wanted, but at least they were able to meet in the middle.

The official word of the suit’s dismissal is good news. While we hate that the situation came to a lawsuit, we are glad it will not cost taxpayers any more money. We hope any expenses incurred up to this point were minimal.

Considering the financially strapped condition of our county, the last thing we needed was a lawsuit. If our county’s leaders cannot resolve their issues without going to court, then something is wrong.

Pretty soon, we will have a new slate of commissioners at the helm. All of them could be different from the faces we see now. Monday night was the last meeting for at least two of them.

In one of his final statements, Commissioner Allen Wyatt said this coming year would probably be the most difficult yet. He is probably right. The economic situation is not getting any easier, and the needs of each department will only grow with the county’s population.

Whoever steps up to the dais in January certainly has their work cut out for them. We hope they can do it in a fair, unified way.