Commission plans for voting at courthouse

Published 5:11 pm Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Voters casting ballots at the Chilton County Courthouse for the General Election Nov. 4 will be allowed to go through a separate entrance to the courthouse due to security.

Chilton County Commissioners voted during a regularly scheduled meeting Monday to appropriate for two additional security guards to stand at the handicap entrance of the courthouse, which is located at the lower level entrance to the left of the front entrance, on Election Day.

Commission Chairman Allen Caton told commissioners he spoke with Chilton County Probate Judge Bobby Martin regarding different ways to deal with the high volume of foot traffic at the courthouse Nov. 4.

“Bobby was concerned that there will be court going on Tuesday in addition to Election Day,” Caton said. “There will be a lot of people coming through those front doors so Bobby was asking us to come up with some different ideas for how to deal with that.”

Commissioners discussed having individuals scheduled to appear in court Tuesday morning go through the front door entrance and those planning to vote go through the handicap entrance.

“We could rope off the stairwells from the downstairs to the upstairs so if people who go vote want to go to other areas of the courthouse, they will have to leave and go back through the front door entrance,” Caton said.

Commissioner Joseph Parnell said he didn’t think it would be a good idea to have individuals go through security twice and suggested voters, who will be checked by a security guard with a security screening wand, be allowed to go to other places in the courthouse without having to go through security twice.

“I agree, it doesn’t make sense for them to have to go back upstairs and go through the front entrance if they have other business to tend to after they vote,” Caton said.

As it stands, anyone not casting a ballot at the courthouse on Tuesday will need to enter through the front doors of the courthouse.

Otherwise, voters will be allowed to enter through the handicap doors and go through security before voting in the downstairs portion of the courthouse.

Commissioners also held a public hearing Monday night to close a one-mile section of County Road 351 starting at County Road 62, also known as the Williams Pipeline road.

There was no opposition from residents about closing the road, so commissioners unanimously voted in favor to close the portion of County Road 351.

In other news, the commission:

•Voted to allow Chilton County Engineer Tony Wearren to have a single-cab Chevrolet pickup at the road department declared as surplus and sold. The vehicle is a 2001 with 186,500 miles.

•Voted to allow Chilton County Emergency Management Agency Director Derrick Wright to do an emergency hire for an assistant position that is currently vacant from the resignation of Meliah Matthews.

Wright told commissioners Matthews resigned, and he needed someone to fill the assistant job for a short time.

Wright told commissioners he would like to hire a deputy director position who would help Wright on the job.

The potential hire would work 20 hours a week.

Wright requested permission from commissioners to advertise for hiring someone and be allowed to do an emergency hire for up to 45 days for an assistant position.

•Voted to allow Wearren to use county employees on days they can’t perform their normal county tasks (weather days) to take down several buildings at the Chilton County Airport, and let all scrap material from the buildings to be sold and given back to the county.

•Voted to take $4,600 from the county’s rollover money and put it toward the purchase of the county’s portion of an incinerator for the Chilton County Humane Society.

The county agreed to pay their portion of the money to the Humane Society once they have received an invoice from the Humane Society.

•Voted to schedule a work session with Chilton County Sheriff Kevin Davis on Nov. 10 at 5:30 p.m. to discuss issues with his budget.

•Passed a resolution granting permission for Caton to sign a request to change the authorized representative at the ADECA Surplus Property Division from former Chilton County EMA Director Bill Collum to County Administrator Connie Powell.

Powell explained to commissioners that the resolution would allow her to serve as an administrator between the county and the state.

Commissioners Bobby Agee, Heedy Hayes and Joe Headley voted against the motion due to not understanding the resolution.

Commissioners Caton, Shannon Welch, Greg Moore and Joseph Parnell voted in favor of the motion.

•Passed a resolution to re-advertise the bill for consolidating the responsibilities of redemptions and excess bids to the Chilton County Revenue Commissioner’s office from the office of Chilton County Probate Judge.

•Declared the old Centrax telephone system used by the county as surplus.

•Voted to put together a committee to look into subdivision issues affecting residents throughout the county.

Some of the issues include streets never being developed after residents purchased homes in the subdivisions.

County attorney John Hollis Jackson spoke to the commission at the end of the meeting regarding the issue and suggested commissioners look into the problem. Jackson suggested commissioners explore different ideas for how the county could address the issues.

Commissioners voted to form a committee to look into the topic which includes Agee, Wearren, Welch, Caton and attorney Jackson or attorney Hollis Jackson.