Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A Republican State Representative is trying to give the current Jefferson County government the heave-ho!

State Senator Drake has announced that he will be prefiling a bill that will abolish the current county government of Jefferson County.  The current 5-member commission form of government would be abolished and replaced with an elected chief executive officer (CEO) and 5 member county council.  The CEO would be elected at-large across the county by majority votes and would have 3 term limit.  The CEO would also have the authority to appoint the county manager and the veto power over the county council.  The new county council would have strictly legislative duties and limitations on the number of members of their staffs.

A bill similar to this was stalled in the Alabama State Legislature last year because of the partisan shenanigans in the regular session of 2009.  Drake also exclaimed that "57% of the nation's county governments have similar functions". 

I gotta give it to him because I've been advocating the abolition of the current 5 member county commission and the formation of a larger and more representative body.  If the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davison County has 41 legislative members along with a Vice-Mayor and Mayor with only barely 600,000 residents in the jurisdiction then Jefferson County needs more representation with its 660,000 residents than 5 district-elected commissioners.  IMHO, the Jefferson County government idealistically should be at least 9 or 10 member county commission with stricly legislative duties and at least 4 commissioners elected "at-large" throughout the county.  They should also have a County Administrator/CEO/President for its executive branch along with an appointed County Manager that would be appointed by the CEO and approved by the Commission.  This is the Jefferson County government I would love to see, but I know this may not ever come to reality.

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