Category: Jefferson County Commission

JeffCo Commission Approves Fees for Credit, Debit Card Payments to Revenue Department

Travis Hulsey was a bit late for the Jefferson County Commission meeting this morning at the courthouse in Bessemer.

“I got caught up in some traffic,” he said later.

Upon arrival, Hulsey learned that his request for convenience fees on credit and debit card use for over-the-counter payments to the county’s Revenue Department didn’t face the traffic jam it did two weeks ago. It passed on unanimous consent along with 49 other resolutions.

The resolution that passed was Hulsey’s original request of a 1 percent convenience fee, with a $1.95 minimum.
Read more.

Jefferson County Commission Will Discuss Revenue Department Card Fees on Thursday

The question of whether convenience fees will be added to over-the-counter transactions with the Jefferson County Revenue Department will be answered when the County Commission conducts its meeting Thursday at the courthouse in Bessemer.

Outgoing chief financial officer John Henry said nearly two weeks ago that a plan for addressing the shortfall in the Revenue Department’s budget that came because of increased use of credit cards and debit cards would be unveiled at today’s committee meeting.

Henry said the matter goes back to the commission meeting, as it previously had been discussed in committee.

“Because of the way they tabled it, they’ll have to bring it up on Thursday instead of Tuesday,” said Henry. Read more.

Jefferson County Commission Delays Vote on Fee for Card Payments

John Henry twice said his goodbyes on Thursday – first at his final meeting of the Jefferson County Commission and then at a farewell event in his honor later in the afternoon.

But the final wave goodbye for the county’s chief financial officer will likely be his input in a tabled matter concerning the proposal to add a 1% convenience fee of no less than $1.95 to over-the-counter business conducted by credit or debit card with Jefferson County.

Henry suggested that commissioners table the matter for two weeks so he and Revenue Director Travis Hulsey can find an answer to a revenue department budget shortfall because of the increasing use of credit and debit cards.

“We definitely understand the concerns in reference to the hit to constituents,” the outgoing CFO said. Read more.

Jefferson County Commission Moves to Preserve Downtown Jail Where Martin Luther King Jr. Was Held

The Jefferson County Commission today took the first steps toward acknowledging and preserving remnants of the jail where Martin Luther King Jr. was held.

History often refers to King’s Birmingham incarceration in 1963, during which he penned his Letter From a Birmingham Jail. But months before his 1968 assassination, King was again jailed in Jefferson County, first in Bessemer and a day later on the seventh floor of the Jefferson County Courthouse in downtown Birmingham.

Mark Pettway, the first black elected sheriff of the county, said he is proud to be part of this memorial to King.

“We have an opportunity to tell the full story about someone who came to Jefferson County to change the lives of all those who lived here,” Pettway said. “We want to make sure that that hidden treasure that is here in this building … is memorialized to make sure that the full story does not end in Bessemer but continues here in this part of Jefferson County.”

Jefferson County Gets New Human Resources Director, Raising Hopes for Lifting Consent Decree on Personnel Practices

Jefferson County Commissioner Joe Knight offered a predictable straight line after Caroline Brown was introduced as Jefferson County’s new human resource director at Tuesday’s commission committee meeting.

“Can you get us a good deal on a Toyota?” Knight asked, referring to her long tenure with the automaker.

“Not anymore,” the Montgomery native said as the boardroom burst into laughter. “Not anymore.”

While Brown can’t provide the hook-up for a fleet of motor vehicles, county manager Tony Petelos calls her “the missing link” in the county’s efforts to escape from the consent decree on personnel practices with which it has dealt for nearly 40 years. Read More

Should Jefferson County Charge More for Credit and Debit Payments? The Commission Mulls the Question.

The Jefferson County Commission will decide Thursday whether persons and businesses doing business with the county will have to pay more for the convenience of using credit cards when paying bills at the county’s Revenue Department. The department sought a resolution during today’s committee meeting to add 1% to a transaction amount with a minimum of $1.95 for over-the-counter electronic payments. Read more.

Jefferson County Commission Postpones Vote on Family Dollar Beer and Wine Sales

Jefferson County commissioners voted on Dec. 19 to postpone consideration of a request to allow the Family Dollar Store on U.S. 78 in Forestdale to sell beer and wine.

While the area where the store is located is zoned for beer and wine sales, and there are other stores in the vicinity that do sell beer and wine, concerns about crime and security and issues regarding cleanliness at the Family Dollar property were at the forefront of the discussion. Read more.

Jefferson County Commission to Search for New Chief Financial Officer

At their Dec. 17 work session, Jefferson County Commission members discussed the plan for replacing John Henry, the county’s chief financial officer, who is leaving for a new position in Washington, D.C.

Travis Hulsey, county director of revenue, will oversee the Finance Office while the position is vacant. The Human Resources Department will conduct a six-week national search to recruit candidates for the position. Read more.

Incentives Keep Samuel Associated Tube Group in Jefferson County

Commissioner Steve Ammons could have been humming the country song ‘Dance With Who Brung You’ as he talked about Jefferson County working to hold onto businesses while striving to add new businesses to its dance card.

The subject came up after the Jefferson County Commission today approved an incentive package to keep Samuel Associated Tube Group of Birmingham from leaving the county.

Instead, the manufacturer of small diameter electric-resistance-welded and fabricated carbon steel tubing is moving just a few miles away, remaining in the Pinson area.
Read more.

Related read: Let’s Make a Deal: What Metro Birmingham Cities, Counties Give Away to Get New Businesses

Don’t Look at Us, Jefferson County Commission Tells People Upset Over Rising Property Taxes

Jefferson County Commission President Jimmie Stephens used the commission’s committee meeting today as a platform to dispel the misconception that county government is raising property taxes through reappraisals.

“There’s a misconception that the county commission is responsible for this and I want everyone to be clear that the county commission is not responsible for this,” Stephens said. “This is a state function.”

However, county employees do conduct the property appraisals, Stephens said. Property values assigned by the county’s Board of Equalization reflect property sales activity in the market, the chairwoman of the board said. Read more.