MADISON COUNTY, ALA. (WHNT) -- After much debate over purchasing a computerized time management system for employees, the Madison County Commission unanimously approved the purchase at Friday's meeting; but not without some resistance.
"I struggle to support it, voiced district one commissioner Roger Jones who made no bones about his thoughts on the expenditure for what he calls a 'Cadillac' time system during Friday's commission meeting.
"I've driven a Chevrolet all my life, I can't afford a Cadillac. At some point, the county may not be able to afford a Cadillac for everything," said Jones. "I say Cadillac because we didn't bid it--we bought, as far as I'm concerned, the highest priced one we can find."
While Jones says he does agree the county needs to be ushered out of the pencil and paper age in regard to keeping up with employees, Jones says he would prefer the funds be spent on infrastructure improvements or even giving full-time employees a cost-of-living pay raise.
"We've got roads and bridges in this county that are in dire need of repair," said Jones. "We have some bridges that school buses can't even cross."
Commission chairman Dale Strong, who was absent during Friday's reticent yes vote from Jones, maintains the efficient new system will save the county money in the long run. But jones says he is interested in something more tangible and immediate in the interest of county tax payers.
"I'd rather we use the money for something that I could see as far as roads and bridges being repaired or helping our employees, pay them a little more. Some of them especially on the low end people making ten and twelve dollars an hour, I don't see how they're getting by," empathized Jones.
Jones also argues the long-term costs of the new employee time system goes far beyond the initial investment. He says maintenance and system upgrades will cost the county every year.
"We've got very good employees who haven't had a raise in four years," says Jones. We have taken a giant step backward with our healthcare insurance for employees. We've got employees who can't buy their prescription drugs because they can't afford them and our insurance doesn't cover them."