New Jefferson County Commission questions budgets - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

New Jefferson County Commission questions budgets

By Alan Collins

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - New Jefferson County Commissioners are looking for ways to clamp down on expenditures and county finances.   

Commissioners have been on the job less than a week, but they are looking to throw all county department budgets into the trash.   

The commission said Tuesday it will be conducting budget reviews soon. Commissioners said they will be calling for every department to justify their budgets and have a defined mission statement.  

Tuesday, during the commission's first committee meeting, Commission President David Carrington questioned the county's travel expenses.  Carrington said too many county employees are taking trips.

Also, Commissioner Jimmie Stephens, chairman of the finance committee, told the commission he had pulled a million dollars in expenditures until he got an explanation for the expenses. This included 27 pickup trucks to be purchased for the road department.

The commission also said it plans to cancel it's $120,000 lobbyist contract.

Next week the commission said it hopes to send out a request for proposals to hire a search firm for a county manager.  By state law, the county has to have a county manager on the job by April 1, 2011.   

Commissioners are already talking with Alabama lawmakers about a replacement job tax if Montgomery Circuit Judge Charles Price strikes down the current occupational tax.   The current occupational tax draws in about $75 million to support county services.   Commissioners said they want a new and possibly lower job tax in place to prevent another financial crisis such as the one during the summer of 2009.

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