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Madison County Commission Chair Reacts to Special Election Results

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MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) - Tuesday's special election vote in Madison County to combine the positions of tax collector and tax assessor to create a revenue commissioner position failed by a broad margin.

With 98.95% of precincts counted, 6,352 people voted NO (61.91%) and 3,908 people voted YES (38.09%).

The initiative intended to be a cost saving measure in the long-run will not come to fruition despite the 320,000 cost to put on the special election.

Wednesday Madison County Commission Chairman Dale Strong, the most outspoken proponent of the office consolidation, reacted to the proposal's failure.

"We are going in the direction of a revenue office here," maintained Strong, "I don't want to go and spend architect money to design one office when we are going to have two, so the big thing is we know the wish of the people now - we're moving forward with it."

Strong says though a revenue office will not happen over night. He says the county will immediately shift their focus on the additional courtroom space needed in the Madison County Courthouse in order to reduce the inmate population in the Madison County Metro Jail.

"The more space we've got here for courtrooms the more opportunity to determine guilt or innocence and to figure out whether people need to go to the state penitentiary or whether they ned to be released from jail."

The State House of Representatives passed the resolution allowing the voters of Madison County to decide for or against consolidating tax offices. Strong says the fact voters where able to exercise that right as part of the decision making is a success in itself.

"There are a lot of differing thoughts and I respect that," says Strong, "Everybody had an opportunity to come and state their wishes and the big thing is people want to have two offices in Madison County - tax assessor and tax collector - we're moving forward with it. We're going to be successful here in Madison County no matter what happens."

Out of 233,840 registered Madison County voters only 10,260 participated in Tuesday's special election.