"A popular government without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives."


Thursday, June 6, 2013

Jackson County Commission - Regular Session Continuation & Work Session - County Administrator Saga Continues

Monday, June 3rd was a state holiday, Jefferson Davis's Birthday, the Courthouse was closed. The continuation of the May 27th commission meeting regarding an undisclosed personnel action was continued until the June 4 meeting.
The County Commission has placed the County Administrator, Sandra Erickson, on Administrative Leave with pay pending a final commission action.
June 4, 2013 WAFF 5PM News Sand Mountain Reporter Steven McLamb announced that Sandra Erickson's attorney, Julian Butler of Huntsville, had no comment. John Porter, Jackson County Attorney, had no... comment during or after the meeting. Porter would not disclose the name of Erickson's Attorney. http://scottsboro.waff.com/news/news/161463-meeting-continued-jackson-co-administrator-leave#comments
The Administrator's contract is listed below.

Make note of "Cause" and "In the event..." the personnel action decision will be continued until next Monday, June 10, 2013 at 3PM. According to the commission chair this was requested by Ms. Erickson's Attorney, Julian Butler.
Citizen Presentation from Garry Morgan regarding request for recordings involving public officials.
Public officials had made recordings of conversations between public officials during the last commission's term.
Request for Public Writings

UPDATE - June 6, 2013 - Horace Clemmons FaceBook post about the County Administrator - County Commission: "For my Friends that live in or around Jackson County this post will make sense, for everyone else, sorry about that."

"Having been contacted by several in the press with questions about the County Administrator situation I decided to send each a document with my thoughts, rather than just answering questions. Below is what I sent, you can determine how closely they stuck to what I said and intended."

"First to Sandra’s abilities. During the hiring process Sandra was the only applicant that was both a Board Certified CPA and had experience with County Government Fund Accounting. County Government Accounting is significantly different from personal and business accounting. These points alone put her at the top of the list. A check of her references verified her abilities and her integrity."

"Further testimony to her abilities can be gained by reviewing the State Audit results the three years prior to her hire and the results during her tenure. These results are public information, I would encourage everyone to review them."

"During my term as County Commissioner I found Sandra to be competent, professional and a person that I would trust with my own checkbook. I believe that her integrity is beyond reproach."

"I believe that it is important to understand why the previous Commission gave Sandra a contract that goes as far as it does to protect her rights. While we (the previous Commission) were better known for not getting along, at times on important issues we did manage to come together. Sandra’s contract, I believe was one of those. The Commission had lengthy debates on how to keep favoritism and nepotism out of County hiring. Hiring Sandra was not the best political decision, she is not a Jackson County resident. Her contract was an attempt to ensure politics do not somehow override the best decision."

"For the life of me I cannot understand the current situation. In running a major business I learned that terminating an employee without first giving them notice of their specific shortcoming and putting them on an improvement plan could result in significant legal issues."

"Some of the current situation could be due to a lack of communications and understand. Much like the initial budget issue where the Chairman said that the County was broke and that the budget from the previous Commission would leave the County with negative cash flow. That turned out to not be true, it was just a misunderstanding. I will say that the previous Commission did spend money at a time when the economy was in a down turn that did not leave the incoming Commission in a very good position."

"I believe that this issue is one that the public has a right to know all of the logic behind the decisions. While the County Administrator may work for the Chairman, everyone in the County system, elected or hired, works for the taxpayers of Jackson County. We have the right to understand how our government is being run so that we can ensure that we have entrusted the running of it to the right people. Horace Clemmons "

Concerning the negative cash flow comment from Mr. Clemmons, "Some of the current situation could be due to a lack of communications and understand. Much like the initial budget issue where the Chairman said that the County was broke and that the budget from the previous Commission would leave the County with negative cash flow..."  Mr. Hodges did not make that specific comment.  He commented if the budget was not corrected there would probably be a negative cash flow in future budget years. I have Mr. Hodges on video making that comment. Concerning that statement, there is a misunderstanding but it ain't from Mr. Hodges.

VIDEO from Feb. 2013

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