Larger emphasis placed on work sessions

Published 1:51 pm Tuesday, January 24, 2017

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The Commission meetings will have different rules moving forward, after a unanimous decision to amend the current meeting rules.

Commissioner Joseph Parnell motioned that anything up for discussion would have to be on the agenda by the work session prior to a meeting on Jan. 23.

This would put more importance on work sessions, where the primary discussion will take place before being voted on at the following meeting.

“We would have a full week to think about our decisions,” Parnell said. That way we won’t make decisions with about three seconds of deliberation.”

“Our actual meetings would become a formality,” Parnell said.

The request to amend the current rules was seconded by Commissioner Joe Headley and agreed upon by the rest of the Commission.

According to Parnell, the goal of the change is to have appropriate time to gather information and make sound decisions that reflect the county’s best interest in mind.

Work sessions will now take place on Mondays a week prior to each meeting. The sessions will start at 6 p.m. with the first scheduled for Feb. 6.

In a work session prior to the meeting, the Commission discussed a conflict with WEX fuel cards and its effect on the Sheriff’s Department and the Transit Authority.

The discussion was due to the failure to omit county and state sales tax with the use of the card, which has created unexpected costs.

During the meeting, the Commission approved to take bids on bulk fuel or gas purchases for the county to use and mandated the use of WEX fuel cards only in emergency situations.

About halfway through the meeting, Commission Chairman Allen Caton called for an executive session pertaining to possible litigation and to discuss pending litigation with interim attorney Robert Spence.

In other news from the meeting, the Commission:

  • Appointed Sharon Patterson to serve on the Mental Health Board of Chilton and Shelby Counties.
  • Approved Joseph Smitherman from part-time to full-time with the Sheriff’s Office.
  • Scheduled discussion of the federal grant program’s reconstruction during a work session at 5 p.m. prior to the meeting on Feb. 13.
  • Approved a resolution to remove former administrator Connie Powell from all accounts pertaining to county business.
  • Commissioner Jimmie Hardee introduced his Clean Up Chilton County litter campaign to his fellow Commissioners.
  • Agreed on a resolution to approve RDA Audits.