Commission tables plea to save probation officer’s job, purchases new vehicle

Published 11:35am Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Elmore County Commission sat for two hours listening to area non-profit organizations pitch for the commission’s continued support.

Then District Court Judge Patrick Pinkston pleaded for the commission to save the job of one of his juvenile probation officers who serves Eclectic and Tallassee.

Pinkston explained that even with the continued cutbacks from the state, his predecessor put money back for a “rainy day.”

When cuts from the state continued and one of the probation officer’s job was put in peril, former District Court Judge Maura Culberson used that rainy day fund to save the officer’s job.

Pinkston asked for the commission’s help on Monday to save that person’s job again.

“I’m reluctant to cross that line and fund areas of the state’s responsibility,” Commission Chairman David Bowen said.

“We’ve already crossed the line when Judge Culberson sent money to the state to take care of this officer’s salary,” Pinkston responded.

During the business meeting the commission unanimously agreed to table the issue.

A few issues after Pinkston asked the commission to spend $56,000 to save a probation officer’s job, it unanimously approved to purchase a 2015 Ford Explorer – at the cost of about $25,000 – for commission use.

Bowen told the Herald the vehicle would be used to “run errands and to travel to conferences.”

“The county needs a vehicle for official business of the county,” Bowen said.

County Administrator Grace McDuffie told the commission there were enough line items in the present budget where there was “underspending” to afford the new vehicle.

McDuffie said commissioners are reimbursed the federal reimbursement rate of 56 cents a mile if commissioners use their own vehicles for commission business.

In other commission business, it unanimously approved a one-time retiree bonus which would pay out to a retiree up to the maximum of $300.

•Approved a preservation project to scan all commission minutes books and corresponding attachments dating back to the 1860s.

•Approved the Central Alabama Drug Task Force to apply for the annual Edward Byrne Memorial JAG Program Grant.

The commission’s next scheduled meeting is Aug. 11 with the work session to begin at 3 p.m.

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