HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT)--After the Pledge of Allegiance and a brief prayer the first two items of business at Monday morning's Madison County Commission meeting were the chairman's recommendations for county administrator and county attorney.
Kevin Jones was selected unanimously by the commission to fill the position of retired county administrator Howard Bates.
Current county attorney Jeff Rich in another unanimous vote was selected to become the county's full-time in-house counsel.
Jones and Rich, with experience of 14 and 20 years with the county respectively, both also received votes of confidence from chairman Dale Strong as well as returning commissioners Bob Harrison, Roger Jones and newbie Phil Vandiver.
Commission Chair Dale Strong says the average expenditure for legal services in years passed has been around $800,000 to $900,000 yearly. Strong says the commission will leave the same line item amount in the budget for legal services intact for the next twelve months in order to accurately gauge the cost saving potential of having a full-time attorney dedicated to the commission. Strong also touts how these newly worked positions will be an asset to the entire county.
"With those leadership capabilities," says Strong, "we are not getting people who we are going to have to train. These are people that understand the daily operations of this county government. The other thing is this is not just going to be more than just a county attorney--more than just a county administrator. These folks are going to be senior advisors to the chairman of the Madison County Commission. I will be bouncing a lot of new ideas off of them but I think in the first three or four days that we've been in office the direction of this county is clear and this county's best days are still ahead."
Chairman Strong says the county attorney position should be implemented within the next 30 to 60 days.