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Commission Meeting 14 May 2018
 
This meeting was attended by Representative Chris Sells.  He stated to me he was on hand to see how things went with the proposed arena.
 
Call to order at 9 AM by Chairman Byrd.  Invocation offered by Commissioner Riley followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.
 
Roll call showed all members present.
 
The agenda was approved after one amendment to include a “Good Name And Character” addition to the Executive Session.  The minutes of two previous meetings were approved.
 
Payroll/personnel Report:
     There were 2 new hires, one for the jail and one for the engineering department.  A total of 4 separations.  There was no overtime needing approval.  Mr. Samuels, a county employee of 34 years retired.  Ms. Leigh has passed 2 of the 3 courses required for payroll/personnel clerk.  Approved by unanimous vote. 
 
Claims approval:
     There were 5 claims over the $500.00 limit requiring approval.
     There were 3 claims over the $3,000.00 limit requiring approval.
     Motion to approve was accepted by unanimous vote.
 
Conecuh County Safe Room:
     A problem with building insurance by Meadowbrook has arose.  Attorney Bishop was tasked with getting with city attorney Hartley and work something out whereby the city will pay the insurance until all the payments and paperwork get completed.  The county will reimburse the city for any funds expended.  A motion to approve passed by unanimous vote.
     A work session for safe room management will be held on 29 May directly behind the scheduled regular commission meeting.
 
Extension Service Quarterly Report Update:
     Ms. Cindy Knowlton reported on several items the Extension office has been involved in including attempting to establish food bank locations for food drops.  She had several more items to discuss.  Suggest a visit to the local extension office and see Ms. Knowlton for a full update.
 
Coastal Gateway Update:
     Mr. Jess Nichols talked about comparisons Coastal Gateway has run on different scenarios on the proposed arena.  Their cost analyst of the arena will depend on the final building style and location.  Cost estimates run high as 2.8 million dollars down to 1.65 million for the arena only.  Decision time on what the county wants.  Discussion on where to get additional monies occurred with hopes that some grant funds might be available.  Work session for further discussion set for 29 May at 1 PM.
 
Pleasant Hill Community Roads:
     Mr. Jerome Boykin spoke on the behalf of the citizens of Springhill, one of the areas of the county that has received very little in the way of improvements even though it has been promised for years that the remaining 7/10 mile of dirt road would be paved.
     This developed into a long discussion but in the end, if things go as stated, the Pleasant Hill Community will get its 7/10 mile of dirt road paved.  Money has been set aside in each district to pave one mile of road within each district.  Commissioner Campbell promised the money set aside in district one would go to that paving project.
     Chairman Byrd noted that the districts had always supported each other with major projects and he called on all commissioners to get together with District One when it comes time to work on the Pleasant Hill Road.
 
County Engineer:
     Mr. Foshee noted the old motor graders have been transferred to Woods.
     He also stated that a bridge on Langham Road had collapsed.  He expects this road to be open sometime during next month.  He also noted he had some large culverts that need to be installed on county roads 43 and 93.  He suggested moving the excavator to these sites to set these culverts.
     County Road 26 is the next paving project to be let and should start next month.  It was agreed that it was time to start leveling C. R. 32. 
     Mr. Foshee noted that C. R. 19 bids need to be let out.  Motion to let bids passed by unanimous vote.
 
County Administrator:
     Ms. Brown noted that 2018/2019 Commission Appointments on Legislative Committees are due.  It was moved and approved that Commissioner Riley continue to represent Conecuh.
 
County Attorney:
     Mr. Bishop noted that one item to be discussed in executive session needed a letter from him.  He will draft it prior to the executive session.
 
Commissioners Comments and Announcements:
     It was noted only one bid for repairs to the animal shelter had been received.  It was not disclosed as to who submitted the bid or the amount bid.  Chairman Byrd noted at least one more bid need be submitted before any determination be made.
 
     Commissioner Millender announced he had a recording of a recent merit board committee meeting where 3 county commissioners attended. 
     The topic of discussion was the new employee handbook.  The merit board had been tasked with reviewing the handbook.  On the recording it was noted the 3 commissioners seemed to have encouraged the merit board not to approve the handbook but to actually get them an attorney to review it.  Mr. Millender pointed out the county has an attorney on staff and any legal questions the merit board might have could easily be handled by the county attorney.
     When questioned Commissioners Campbell and Riley noted they had a problem with some wording in one section of the handbook.  It dealt with a county employee that opted to run for office.  It states the employee must take a leave of absence to participate in the election cycle but it goes on to say there is no guarantee of a job for them after the election is over.
     Mr. Millender noted that it was not a requirement for the merit board to approve the handbook, it was given them to review as a courtesy. 
     Mr. Millender made a motion that the handbook be approved for acceptance.  There was no second for the motion.
     Mr. Riley made a motion the handbook be approved for acceptance provided the section in question be modified. 
     Mr. Millender noted that nothing in the handbook could supersede Alabama Law and the Code had ample protection in it to cure this problem.
     Attorney Bishop was asked for his opinion to which he stated he would have to review the situation prior to rending an opinion.  Mr. Millender asked Mr. Riley if he would amend his motion for approval provided the attorney could give assurance the wording in the handbook would not override state law.
     Mr. Riley amended his motion, received a second and the motion carried by a vote of 4-1 with andrews of district three being the only dissenting vote.  Andrews stated he thought the commission should go with the handbook prepared by Webb and Ely, the counties attorneys.  This is the handbook that both andrews and former commissioner cook worked as hard as they could to get “their” wording only into it.  In fact andrews and one of the attorneys actually lied about phone calls and changes done to the book.  (Personally anything andrews is involved in I take with a grain of salt.  He is not to be trusted and has been caught in lies so many times I’d be embarrassed to be in his shoes.)
     As noted, motion passed.  Awaiting the answer from Mr. Bishop and if it’s the right one, the county finally has a new handbook.
 
Executive Session:
Begin:  10:24 AM
End:     11:30 AM
 

Motion to adjourn approved at 11:33


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