Tag: Jefferson County Commission

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 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.

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.

Jefferson County Clears Hurdle to Working out an Agreement With UAB for a Health Care Authority

The Jefferson County Commission voted 3-2 for a resolution that executes an amended master agreement to establish the framework for UAB to form an authority to operate Cooper Green Mercy Health System.

Commissioners Jimmie Stephens, Joe Knight and Steve Ammons voted for the measure. Lashunda Scales and Sheila Tyson voted no.

“I think this is really a defining moment for our indigent health care system,” Stephens, the commission president, said immediately following the vote. “Moving forward, I believe our indigents will be able to see a noticeable difference. I believe we’ll improve the quality of our health care and our efficiencies.”

Whether current Cooper Green employees who are hired to continue to work with the health care authority may remain in the county retirement system has been a point of concern for Tyson, the chair of the commission’s committee governing Cooper Green, and Scales. Stephens said those employees will have the option to remain in the county’s retirement system or go under a retirement system offered by the authority.

Scales said she voted no because all of the commissioners have not been given information during the negotiations.

“In my opinion, (that) did not occur,” she said. “Because it did not occur, it made me very uncomfortable with voting on a master agreement. I asked several questions I believe went unanswered.” Read more.

Jeffco Commissioners Set Rules for Use of Economic Development Fund

Updated with video — Despite the “very, very strong” objection of Economic Development Chairman Steve Ammons, the Jefferson County Commission today established new guidelines for using money from the commission’s economic development fund.

In a roll call vote, Ammons voted a “very, very strong no” on a presented resolution. Commission President Jimmie Stephens joined Ammons in voting no, but the matter passed on the yes votes of Commissioners Lashunda Scales, Joe Knight and Sheila Tyson.

Scales offered a resolution at the last meeting that required spending from that fund to be approved by the full commission. Ammons asked that the matter be held over so that he and his staff could make a presentation about economic development. Commissioners agreed Tuesday for a special economic development committee meeting to take place Nov. 18, at which the presentation would take place.

In the meantime, Knight sent a draft of a resolution to his fellow commissioners to address how and when money can be used from the economic development fund. Scales offered that resolution as a substitution for the one she presented at the Oct. 24 meeting in Bessemer.

“This is not to be a fund for everyone to travel on,” Knight said. Read more.