Commission, E-911 hold special hearing

Published 8:58 pm Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The discussion of a contract between the County Commission and E-911 to handle non-emergency dispatch was again one of the top items at Monday night’s Commission meeting.

The Commission held a special hearing at 5 p.m. before the regular work session and meeting to discuss the issue.

E-911 director Scott Stricklin was on hand along with several members of the E-911 board of directors to talk with commissioners and answer any questions.

Stricklin also provided commissioners with financial information for E-911, both from the fiscal year that is about to end and projected numbers for the upcoming fiscal year.

Commissioner Charlie Sankey, who led the discussion, said he was “in favor of helping,” but also that he “wants to be realistic.”

The County Commission is only one of several entities around the county that contribute money to E-911, and many are still deciding whether or not to use E-911 for non-emergency dispatching.

E-911 has presented the Commission with a proposed contract number of $70,520, which includes State Troopers. Without the State Troopers, the number drops to $53,083.

“Let’s bring every plan we’ve got to the next meeting and decide what we’re going to do,” said Sankey, who also said that he’d like to have time to look over the E-911 numbers. “We’ve messed around this long enough. Everyone needs to know what direction we’re taking so they can decide how they need to go.”

Once the meeting started, the Commission took action on another E-911 matter by appointing Jennifer McDougald to a vacancy on the E-911 board.

McDougald served as E-911 director from September 2007 until July of last year, when she was hired as the administrator for the Crenshaw County Jail.

In other business, the Commission heard from John Jones, who has applied for a liquor license for his establishment, Harpo’s.

Jones was questioned about previous trouble at the restaurant, including shootings, selling alcohol without a license and others.

Sheriff Charles West said he was opposed to granting a license.

It was pointed out that a liquor/beer license would allow the Alabama Beverage Control Board to check the establishment at any time, but without a license, law enforcement would have to have a warrant or probable cause.

“The question is, do we want to hear from the public and then vote?” asked Sankey, who represents District 5, where Harpo’s is located.

The Commission voted during the meeting to see about setting up a public hearing before the next night meeting to get public input before making a decision.

There will also be no morning meeting on Oct. 10 because of Columbus Day or on Dec. 26 because of its proximity to Christmas.

The next scheduled meeting will be Oct. 24.