Jefferson County Manager

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Jefferson County Seal.png

The Jefferson County Manager is a position created by the Alabama State Legislature in August 2009, and first filled in September 2011. The County Manager assumes some of the executive responsibilities formerly held by the Jefferson County Commission.

During the 2009 regular session, Representative Paul DeMarco introduced House Bill 358, authorizing the County Commission to employ a County Manager. The bill was enacted without the Governor's signature as Act of Alabama 2009-662.

The act authorized, but did not require, the County to establish the position and seek candidates. If, by a 4/5 vote, the County Commission did establish a County Manager position, the act requires the county to engage a national search firm to find qualified candidates that meet the Jefferson County Personnel Board's policies, with the exception that the position is exempted from the County's merit system. The Commission would need another 4/5 vote to appoint the selected candidate to a 5-year term. The negotiated annual salary must meet or exceed the median for county managers in similar-sized counties.

During a special session called by Governor Bob Riley to address the replacement of a Jefferson County Occupational Tax, DeMarco introduced House Bill 16, authorizing a tax and stipulating financial transparency requirements for the county, including a requirement to have a County Manager and County Comptroller in place by April 1, 2011. The version approved by the Alabama State Senate retained only the County Manager position. It was signed by Riley on August 15 as the "Jefferson County Accountability Act" (Act 2009-812).

Recognizing the enormous challenges of facing the county's debt crisis, the Commission that took office following the 2010 general election has made recruiting a high-caliber official for the job its first priority. In September 2011 the Commission offered the position to Hoover Mayor Tony Petelos.


The Duties of the County Manager as set forth in Act 2009-662 include the following:

  1. To act as the primary administrative advisor to the county commission on all matters relating to the efficient and economical administration of county government.
  2. To act as the executive agent of the county commission in overseeing the implementation of authorized projects and programs, assuring appropriate coordination of departmental operations, and resolving interdepartmental problems and disputes.
  3. To exercise direct oversight of all department heads and their agencies and departments except for the county attorney, who reports directly to the county commission. The county manager shall have the full authority to select, appoint, evaluate, terminate, and retain department heads, except that the selection of a department head appointed by the county manager may be vetoed by three members of the commission, provided that the veto is made within 10 business days following the selection. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the county commission, by a unanimous vote of five commissioners, may terminate the employment of a department head.
  4. To directly manage all county functions and operations except those that are committed by general law to elected officers of the county.
  5. Conduct research and make studies and investigation which could result in greater economy and efficiency in county government; approve, on the basis of management principles, such organizational changes as proposed by departments; recommend to the county commission the creation, dissolution, merger, or modification of organizational elements or work programs as deemed necessary for the efficient and economical operation of county government; and recommend to the county commission policies and adopt procedures for the orderly conduct of the county's administrative affairs.
  6. Cause the budget planning process to be compatible with approved county policies and long range plans; review and evaluate the budget estimates of all departments and submit a recommended annual budget to the county commission in a timely manner; exercise continuous review of revenues and expenditures throughout the year to insure budgetary control and implement any necessary fiscal controls; keep the board of commissioners fully advised as to the financial condition and needs of the county; and review and give a recommendation as to all supplemental appropriations and budget transfers which require county commission approval.
  7. Conduct comprehensive management reviews and analyses of programs, projects, and departments, and report his or her findings and recommendations to the county commission.
  8. Subject to budget approval, organize, staff, and administer and carry out the responsibilities of the office of county manager.
  9. Attend all meetings of the county commission and discuss any matter before the commission, but shall not vote.
  10. Supervise the performance of all contracts made by any person for work done for the county and supervise and regulate all purchases of materials and supplies for the county within the limitations and under the rules as may be imposed by the county commission, and to make purchases and contracts for the county in amounts not exceeding the formal sealed bid limit set by Alabama law or resolution of the county commission.
  11. Perform such other duties as the county commission may direct and keep the county commission advised of any and all matters which may be pertinent to the discharge of its responsibilities.


  • Cunningham, Russell M. IV (August 4, 2010) "Occupational Tax Revisited, Part I: Enacting A New Authorizing Statute" Birmingham Business Law
  • Wright, Barnett (November 7, 2010) "Recruiting county manager is early challenge for new Jefferson County Commission." Birmingham News
  • Wright, Barnett (September 7, 2011) "Jefferson County Commission will offer Hoover Mayor Tony Petelos county manager job." Birmingham News

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