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Sylvia Singleton named county administrator

Sylvia Singleton was approved for the position of county administrator by the Chilton County Commission during its May 14 meeting.

The process to fill the position had been ongoing since former administrator Crista Madden was placed on administrative leave on March 1.

Singleton has been the city clerk for the city of Jemison since 2014 and prior to that she spent 14 years as senior tax advisor and office manager at H&R Block in Clanton.

She graduated from Auburn University at Montgomery in 1989 with a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting.

The vote was not unanimous, as Commissioner Joe Headley opposed the decision due to the financial specifications of the job position.

Twenty-three job applications were received and sorted by a committee that included Commissioners Allen Caton, Joseph Parnell and Matt Mims.

Once the initial candidates were narrowed down to those who met the specified criteria posted for the job, the committee was tasked with using a ranking system to grade the qualified prospects even further.

After two waves of evaluation, interviews were setup with three finalists for the job.

Alex Dudchock, county manager for Shelby County, was brought in as an outside observer to conduct the interviews.

Dudchock prepared 17 questions that the interviewees had not been made aware of prior to being asked.

Caton, Parnell and Mims each had a copy of the questions and graded the candidates on a 1-to-5 scoring system after listening to their answers.

“He [Dudchock] asked those 17 questions in order and allowed them [candidates] to expand upon as much as they wanted,” Parnell said. “We allotted one hour.”

According to Parnell, the interviews were open to the public, which was due to the fact that they were an appointed committee of the commission.

“It was a good process because it took the personal factor away from us,” Parnell said. “We couldn’t be biased because he was asking the questions. We had really strong candidates.”