Headlines from Alabama 810 News
Subdivision want median break
say that Oxford Business is a Gambling Business
Bill passes to
delay Talladega Judgeship
Council Rescinds pay raises
Subdivision want median break
Residents of the
Stoneridge North Subdivision in Jacksonville say they are tired of
having to drive north on Alabama highway 21 to head south on the
highway. 77 people have signed a petition asking the state
department of transportation to install a median crossover on highway
21 at the entrance to their subdivision. Jacksonville Mayor Johnny
Smith has sent the petition to the Alabama Department of
Transportation for consideration but said he does not expect the
department to install the crossover. Smith said that the highway
department is concerned with the fact that the entrance is right
around the corner form a bad cure and that the median is too narrow to
accommodate a vehicle waiting to turn left. Although 77 people signed
the petition, the subdivision has only a dozen single family
dwellings. Another subdivision is planned and they would have to use
the same exit onto Alabama 21 according to the cities building and
planning office. The petition was signed by a number of people who
live outside the subdivision including people from Atlanta, Eastaboga,
Knoxville and Louisville Kentucky.
that Oxford Business is a Gambling Business
enforcement officials say that a business opened in Oxford late last
month is operating a gambling business. The owners of Hello Money
said that they are operating a sweepstakes which a Birmingham judge
ruled as legal in a January attempt to close down a similar operation
at the Birmingham race course. Calhoun County Sheriff Larry Amerson
says he would disagree. The legislature failed to act on a
bill clarifying the issue on gambling which Sheriff Amerson says is
the root of the problem. Meanwhile Calhoun County District Attorney
Joe Hubbard said he hopes to determine by Monday whether or not the
oxford operation is within the law.
Bill passes to
delay Talladega County Judgeship
The house of
representatives passed a bill Thursday that would delay the filling of
a third circuit judgeship in Talladega County until 2009, the measure
would become law if signed by the governor. State Senator Jim Pruitt
introduced the bill based on concerns expressed by the circuit court
clerk and district attorney. District Attorney Steve Giddens said he
did not oppose implementation, but said he did have staffing and
funding concerns. Circuit Clerk Clarence Haynes expressed similar
concerns as well as concerns about storage space. The Talladega
county bar association earlier this week took a unanimous vote calling
on the immediate filling of the judgeship by an election of county
voters. Pruett’s bill would have the position filled by a
gubernatorial appointment until the next election in 2010. The
position was created in 1985 but subsequent bills delayed funding the
project until this year.
Council rescinds pay raises
members on Thursday rolled back raises of more than 3 percent given by
the mayor to department heads and administrative employees.
Council members decided to adjust those salaries, including 15
employees the council held a due process hearing for Tuesday, back to
the pay rate of January 2005 and increase it by 6 percent for each
employee effective today.
Mayor Charles O'Rear opposed the action that was approved by all five
members of the City Council.
"I stand behind my decision to give these raises," he said after the
meeting, while noting he respects the actions of the council. The
council approved a 3 percent across-the-board raise with the 2005-2006
fiscal year budget and some members learned of the additional raises
when reviewing a quarterly report on city finances.
O'Rear said contrary to rumors, the raises he approved did not put the
employees' salaries in the "stratosphere." He said the pay increases
brought workers in line with what other employees make in respective
positions in other cities with the same demographics as Attalla. Along
with adjusting salaries, the council decided to implement two other
procedures that will aid in keeping council members better informed
about city finances.
The council will review the current clothing allowance rates for
employees and all policies in regard to accrual and selling of leave
time, including vacation and comp time, holidays and personal days.
Additionally, council members agreed to have the finance committee of
the City Council meet quarterly to review revenue and make salary
adjustments to department heads and administrative staff based on
those revenue figures. It was noted each employee would be reviewed
separately and increases in salary would be based on job merits.
O'Rear questioned whether the new procedures were within the scope of
the council in that they should be performed by the mayor in handling
the day-to-day operations of the city.
City attorneys Richard Rhea and Gina Coggin, with the firm of Rhea,
Boyd, Rhea and Coggin, were at the meeting. O'Rear was advised the
council had the authority to implement the procedures. After handling
the salary dispute with the three agreements, O'Rear and council
members met in a closed session for about 15 minutes before opening
the meeting to the public and voting on another salary-related issue.
The executive session with Rhea and Coggin allowed discussion of the
legal ramifications of the council's actions considering an attorney
representing 10 employees threatened Tuesday to sue Attalla if the
City Council eliminated raises of more than 3 percent.
Council members decided to give Police Chief Joe Hereford, Deputy
Police Chief Larry Howard, City Clerk Sharon Jones and Assistant City
Clerk Dorothy Jelks four hours of court pay that police officers get.
The hours will be paid at a rate of time and one half. The four
employees were taking the time spent in court twice monthly as comp
O'Rear said the decision was based on a request proposed Wednesday by
the employees' attorney. The request was among five other ones
suggested to avoid litigation.
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