Category: Jefferson County Commission

Petelos Says Goodbye to Jefferson County County Manager Post

Tony Petelos attended a party Thursday to mark his retirement after a decade as county manager for Jefferson County. Petelos is the only county manager Jeffco has had, and the county now is searching for its next one. County commissioners earlier lauded Petelos for his stability during a tumultuous period in the county’s history, through tornadoes, bankruptcy, receivership, a sewer crisis and a consent decree.

Petelos Plans ‘Uncommon Retirement Process’

Tony Petelos had planned to have his replacement in place before he retired from his position as Jefferson County manager. But a new county manager has yet to be hired as Petelos counts down to the end of his county career.

He laughed Tuesday at the notion that the delay in hiring his successor is because it’s so hard to replace him.

“The commission waited,” he said. “They lost two months before they decided to move forward with hiring somebody to do a national search. For two months, nothing happened.”

Petelos’ last day officially on the job is Friday, June 18. He has vacation days lined up, so he will remain on the payroll for a while. His will be an uncommon retirement process, he said.

“Technically, the way it works is when people retire, we’re still paying them but they’re not here,” he said. “They clean out their desk and they’re gone. I’m gonna do mine a little different. I’m not gonna clean my desk out. I will come back if they need me on certain things.”
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JeffCo Commissioners Look Forward to Dropping Social Distance at Meetings, Pledge $5 Million for UAB Genomics Building

As today’s Jefferson County Commission meeting reached its end, Joe Knight rose from his seat in front of the dais and put his name plate in front of the one for Lashunda Scales.

“When we return, I reclaim my seat,” Knight declared.

Steve Ammons, who like Knight has been seated at a table below their fellow commissioners, chimed in. “I’m tired of being a second-hand commissioner,” he joked.

The lighthearted banter came as commissioners announced that today’s meeting will be the last one held during the state of emergency Gov. Kay Ivey declared last year to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. Social distancing requirements and then recommendations have been part of public safety orders the governor has issued during the state of emergency. Read more.

Jeffco Considers $5 Million Pledge to UAB’s Genomics Sciences Program

The Jefferson County Commission will consider on Thursday a pledge of $5 million for the genomics sciences program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

At their committee meeting Tuesday, commissioners placed the proposal on the agenda for this week’s meeting.

The county is set to pledge $1 million a year for five years to help UAB with the expansion and construction of a new genomics sciences and research building.

The move of the action to Thursday’s agenda came after an appeal from UAB President Ray Watts, who said the building will span 540,000 square feet.

“It is perfectly situated to take genomic information and data science and predict what kinds of treatments might be effective for cancers,” Watts said. “You can also predict what diseases we might be a risk for so we can control those risk factors and avoid ever having that disease.
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Consultant Chosen to Conduct Search for New Jefferson County Manager

Jefferson County commissioners learned Tuesday about the local company that will be tasked with looking for a new county manager.

County Manager Tony Petelos, who announced his retirement recently, told commissioners at their committee meeting that Wheless Partners will conduct a nationwide search for his replacement.

“They’re going to be contacting all the commissioners to get input,” Petelos said. “I felt like having a local company would be better than having a company from out of state.”
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Jefferson County Nears Deal for New Humane Society

Commissioner Joe Knight said Jefferson County is “getting close” to making a deal to provide a new home for the Greater Birmingham Humane Society.

During their committee meeting Tuesday, commissioners discussed a memorandum of understanding with the Humane Society and U.S. Steel to buy two lots along Lakeshore Parkway at Sydney Drive. GBHS would purchase a third lot and build an animal hospital and adoption control facility at the site.

Commissioners agreed to take up the issue during their formal meeting Thursday. Read more.

New Garbage Service in Unincorporated Jefferson Has Rocky Start

Jefferson County Commission President Jimmie Stephens said ‘I told you so’ when it came to a new waste disposal company’s roll out of service to unincorporated Jefferson County.

Since Amwaste took over April 1, customers have complained of missed pickups, undelivered garbage carts, errantly taken carts and confusion about contracting with the new company. Read more.

JeffCo Commissioner Applauds Employees for Actions During COVID War

Jefferson County Commission President Jimmie Stephens closed today’s commission meeting with gratitude for county employees and staff who fought their way through the “wartime” environment of the pandemic.

“It was a wartime atmosphere,” Stephens said. “We were at war with this virus. It actually changed our day-to-day lives and how we conducted business. I wanted to commend and thank our county commission and our county staff for being able to stay on top of this wartime environment and to be able to win as many battles as we have. Read more.

JeffCo Commission Moves Toward Buying Land Next to Shady Grove Fire Station, Selling Old West End Health Center

The Shady Grove Fire Department will benefit from a “fire sale” transaction between the state of Alabama and Jefferson County. During their committee meeting today, commissioners moved a resolution to the agenda of Thursday’s commission meeting to buy property from the state that is adjacent to the fire department and plan to offer $100. Read more.