Commission asked to be part of change in plan

Published 11:38 pm Thursday, March 23, 2017

Chilton County commissioners heard from Ed Castile, with the Alabama Department of Commerce, who talked about the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act during a work session on March 20.

“We’re looking to make a change to benefit everybody,” Castile said. “All counties will be represented equally.”

Currently three local area boards cover the state and have for the past 40 years.

Castile explained to the Commission the plan to change from three to seven areas and he was making visits to several commissioners throughout the state.

The addition of the four areas was created based off of commuting patterns and population data.

In order for the change to take place, Castile needs signatures from 67 counties by July 1.

In 2014 President Barack Obama signed the act, which was designed to help job seekers access employment, education, training and support services to succeed in the labor market.

Chilton County would be included in and area along with five other surrounding counties, including Jefferson County.

A board would be created with representatives from each county and would dictate decisions and how money is spent.

“This is a no-brainer to me,” Commissioner Joseph Parnell said. “We’re going from having no representation to having a piece of the pie.”

According to Castile, Jefferson County is OK with the new plan, because it understands that more than half of its workforce comes from the surrounding counties.

Commissioner Joe Headley raised questions and was not yet convinced on the proposed plan. He feared that it would lead to just more money being given to Jefferson County.

The topic will be brought up again during the next Commission meeting on March 27.

In other news from the work session, the Commission:

  • Discussed the possibility of improving courthouse security, including looking into putting bars on the outside of certain windows.
  • Looked over the job description for the county lawyer position.
  • The Chilton County Humane Society informed the Commission of tweaking their hours of operation and rearranging the interior of the building.
  • Commissioner Jimmie Hardee passed out a proposed “vicious animal act” that could require the implementation of one to two animal control officers in the county.
  • Discussed the vacant position of county administrator. A piece of paper was passed around and each commissioner wrote down a monetary value. An average wage for the position was determined from that.