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Commission says probate judge’s comments were misleading, inaccurate

Published 5:01pm Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Elmore County Commission says Probate Judge John Enslen’s remarks during Monday’s commission meeting were misleading and “inaccurate representations” of the commission when Enslen questioned the commission’s recent expenditures.

Monday night Enslen presented nine items of business before the commission, including the hiring of an elections specialist, the advertisement of a permanent part-time deputy chief clerk, a 75-cent per hour pay raise for all of the employees within the probate offices as well as removing the 3 percent surcharge on those using credit/debit cards to pay ad valorem taxes.

The commission tabled the permanent part-time clerk and the removal of the 3 percent surcharge until the next meeting on Nov. 12, while the approval to hire an elections specialist died because of a lack of a motion.

“I know the commission  has a strong desire to ‘appear’ frugal with the taxpayers’ money by declining to hire an elections specialist, but the commission is anything but passionate about not wasting the taxpayers’ money,” Enslen said.

During Enslen’s remarks to the commission, he pointed to a $25,000 donation to the Wetumpka Boys  and Girls Club, a $5,000 donation to the Alabama Bass Trail to host a tournament on Lake Jordan in April 2014, a $15,000 donation for another fishing tournament and $15,000 to the Ladies Professional Golf Association for the annual golf tournament held at Robert Trent Jones Golf facility in Prattville.

“When the commission makes vendetta decisions about adequately funding any county public office, they do not personally hurt the elected official responsible for that office so much as they hurt the citizens of Elmore County who expect them to be wise stewards of their power and public treasury,” Enslen added.

In response to Enslen’s statement, the commission issued a press release Thursday afternoon saying his “out of context comments regarding legitimate expenditures made over the last several years are not an accurate representation of the management and financial soundness” of the county.

Further, the commission pointed to a $3,291 expenditure for curtains in Enslen’s office not long after taking his elected seat.

“This commission found it interesting that (Enslen) would lecture us on how we spend taxpayers’ dollars after spending $3,291 of taxpayers’ money on curtains for his individual office.”

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