County Commission votes to support three amendments on upcoming Nov. 8 ballot
By Terry Dean
The Cherokee County Commission has adopted resolutions in support of Constitutional Amendments 3 and 4, which will appear on the November 2016 General Election Ballot.
The commission also adopted a resolution in support of proposed Constitutional Amendment 14, which will appear on the November 2016 Election Ballot.
Amendment 3, Day explained, will streamline the way the Alabama Legislature deals with local amendments.
“Let’s say we want to do something in Cherokee County and if one legislator votes no, then it has to go to a statewide referendum and sometimes local bills don’t do well statewide,” explained Day during a recent work session of the commission. “It could really mess us up. Right now there are four issues on the ballot that affect one county. This ( amendment) would remove that. It will just make it more difficult for local issues to be decided by the state.”
“It will stipulate that is has to pass in the local area if it does go to a statewide vote,” said Day.
Amendment 4, Day said, would give local governments more authority as well including giving each county more legal authority over when and when not to close the Cherokee County Courthouse and for such issues as the sheriff wanting to make a presentation of a gun and badge to a law enforcement officer upon his/her retirement.
Day said Amendment 4 would cover public transportation and county office operations.
“”It doesn’t grant home rule or allow us to levy any taxes that would infringe on citizens’ property rights,” said Day.
And Amendment 14, is the “biggie” Day said. It started in Jefferson County as a result of a lawsuit over local taxes.
“The Court found it was unconstitutional the way the legislator had it set up and it invalidated the tax,” said Day. “That is how it stands right now. In response to that the legislature basically wants to go back and retroactively pass all the local acts affected by this.”
Local issues which could be affected if this amendment is not passed, day said, include the lodging tax, alcoholic beverage sales in some local municipalities, pistol permits, reduced fees for citizens 65 and older, the Cherokee County Sheriff’s booking fee and the probate judges recording fees.
“All could be nullified if Amendment 14 doesn’t pass,” Day said. “The ACCA (Association of County Commissions of Alabama) has asked that we pass these resolutions in support of these amendments.”
During the Monday, Oct. 11 meeting of the commission, Day announced that John Usry has tendered his resignation from the Cherokee County Library Board. An appointment to fill the unexpired term ending January of 20201 will take place at the Wednesday, Nov. 16, regular meeting. Submittal of resumes, letters, etc. will be accepted at the Commission Office until the close of business Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016.
Chairman Day announced that the appointment/ reappointment to fill three expiring terms of the Cherokee County Healthcare Authority will be made at the Wednesday, Nov. 16, regular meeting. Submittal of resumes, letters, etc. will be accepted at the Commission Office until the close of business Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016.
The commission approved allowing the Cherokee County Highway Department to advertise and request bids for two 10’ Pull behind Rotary Cutters.
On another highway department matter, the commission adopted a resolution for the plantmix resurfacing, traffic striping and guardrail improvements on Cherokee County Road 33 from Cherokee County Road 308, north of 2.20 miles and authorized the chairman to sign a letter of intent for this project ( CCP- 10- 57- 17).
The commission adopted another resolution for the plantmix resurfacing, traffic striping and guardrail improvements on Cherokee County Road 20 from Cherokee County Road 7, East a distance of 2.40 miles to the intersection of Cherokee County Road 150 and authorized the chairman to sign.
The commission approved advertising for a motor vehicle clerk because of the resignation of an employee. In other business, the commission: -Approved declaring a washer and dryer belonging to the Cherokee County Detention Center as surplus property.
The next meeting of the Cherokee County Commission is Monday, Oct. 25, beginning at 5 p.m. in the Cherokee County Administration Building. The work session begins at 4 p. m.