HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) -- Although attorney Jeff Rich has only served as the Madison County Commission's Attorney for just under a year, his position is now posted on the Madison County website along with several other positions essential to the commission's operations.
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"This position was contracted out," says incoming commission Chairman Dale Strong. "The thing I see that's going to benefit the county commission and the people of this county is having that person in-house at all times."
The county commission chief financial director position and the administrative assistant to the commission chairperson position are up for grabs due to retirements, but Strong says the county attorney position has been posted in order to find a full-time lawyer dedicated strictly to the needs of the commission.
"The big thing is having that attorney right outside the door of the chairman of the Madison County Commission," said Strong. "That is very beneficial, so the department heads of Madison County can get legal advice during that work day."
Current county attorney Jeff Rich is a private attorney juggling his own private practice and clients. Hiring a full-time attorney may be a way for the commission to reduce their average yearly budget of between $800,000 and $900,000. Strong says with ad valorem revenue on the decline, moving forward for the commission is about doing more with less.
"I believe it's going to save the taxpayers of Madison County money, in turn that will create revenue so that we can put additional deputies on patrol in Madison County and those are the things that we campaigned on and we're going to hit the ground running," said Strong.
Strong also says the new position will be more than just a county attorney, serving in many capacities.
"This person is going to serve as senior advisor to the chairman, he's going to participate with the commissioners, this person is also going to participate with department heads so that we can reduce risk to the taxpayers of Madison County."