Greene Co. Commission selects Underwood as chair

Pictured are Commissioners Tennyson Smith, Allen Turner, Jr., Elzora Fluker, William Underwood and Marvin Childs

By: John Zippert, Co-Publisher

The newly elected Greene County Commission held their first meeting on Wednesday evening, November 10, 2010, at the William M. Branch County Courthouse. As the first order of business, the Commission chose Nick Underwood of District 1 to be the Chairperson of the Commission for a term of two years. Elzora Fluker was elected as Vice-Chair at the same time.
The Commission agreed that its regular meeting would continue to be on the second Monday of each month at 6:00 PM at the County Courthouse.
The Commission also agreed to use both local banks, Merchants and Farmers Bank and Citizen Trust Bank, as depositories for county funds and for the Chair, Vice-Chair and County Administrator, Mattie Atkins, to be the signatories on accounts. Commissioner Underwood said that some accounts may be shifted between the banks at a later date.
Commissioner Underwood said that each commissioner would be assigned to supervise a specific area of county business and activities to assure more accountability and supervision of the County’s assets, programs and responsibilities.
Commissioner Fluker was assigned to Health, Education and Public Safety issues because of her experience with the school board and her work with the Sheriff’s Department. She was charged with monitoring the construction of a new school, the hospital and nursing home, the jail, E-911, Courthouse security, DHR and other issues connected with these areas.
Commissioner Allen Turner Jr. was assigned to County Personnel issues and asked to work on a personnel manual, staffing needs, a staff evaluation and training process and the activation of a county personnel board, which has been dormant.
Commissioner Tennyson Smith was assigned to work on Jobs and Economic Development, including liaison with the county’s Industrial Board, grant writing for state and Federal resources and the issue of tax abatements and other incentives to attract and maintain industry in the county.
Commission Marvin Childs was assigned to deal with Public Works including roads, bridges and other infrastructure and helping to provide oversight and supervision for the County Engineer and helping to recruit an assistant county engineer which is currently a vacant position.
Commissioner Underwood assigned himself to work on Finance, especially helping to get regular and accurate financial statements to account for county revenues and expenses. Underwood said that he would put these assignments in writing and give the commissioner more details on their assignments.
In other business, the Commission heard a report from Ms. Atkins of funds on hand indicating a total of $988,313.70 in various accounts, many of which are restricted to specific purposes and cannot be used for general support of the county.
The Commission discussed a request from the City of Eutaw to assist with the demolition of the swimming pool on Greensboro Avenue (Highway 14) in Eutaw. County Engineering Arzo Abrams said the county wanted to be helpful to the City of Eutaw but needed more specifics of the requirements of work to be done and the cost estimate. The Commissioners agreed that the County Engineer should negotiate a specific agreement with the city and bring it back for approval.
County Engineer Abrams presented low bids for stone and slag for road repair provided by Southeast Materials Company which were approved by the Commission.
The Commission approved Ms. Joanna Madison as a member of the Board of Directors of the Greene County Hospital and Nursing Home taking the place of Ms. Annie Gaines who wished to retire from the board at the end of her term.
The Commission tabled a request from interim Sheriff George Cook to make a $25,000 annual contract for medical services for prisoners at the county jail with Maude Whatley Health Services pending consultation with the incoming Sheriff Joe Benison. In the public comment period two members of the Greene County Hospital and Nursing Home Board, who were present, urged the commissioners to check with the county’s health facility before contracting with another agency.
The Commission approved writing a letter of support for a $6,000 grant to the Town of Boligee for solar powered caution signs on the road in front of Paramount School. These funds are from the “Safe Routes to Schools Grant”. West Alabama Regional Planning Commission in Tuscaloosa is assisting the Town of Boligee in applying for these grant funds.
The Commission approved a request for an Alcohol Beverage License for Karl Burton doing business as Karl’s One Stop in the Snoddy Community in District 1.
The Commission decided to recess the meeting until a special called work session to be held on Thursday, November 18, 2010 at 2:30 PM followed by a regular meeting at 6:00 PM that same night. The purpose of the meeting will be to deal with urgent problems facing the County and budgetary concerns for the coming year.


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