By Scott Turner
The Madison County Commission is still waiting for Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey to appoint a replacement for Dale Strong as chairman.
“We are all trying to fill that role as best we can,” said District 2 Commissioner Steve Haraway, who presided over the commission meeting Wednesday.
Strong resigned on Jan. 2 before taking the oath as the 5th District representative in Congress.
“Depending on what the topic is in working with (Sheriff) Kevin (Turner) and (County Attorney) Jeff (Rich) and everybody on the 7th floor, we’re doing the best we can to keep that moving. So far, we haven’t had any problems. Hopefully, it will stay that way. Hopefully, the governor will make an announcement in the days ahead,” Haraway said.
Haraway said the commission “can’t seem to find out any answers” as to when the appointment will be made.
District 4 Commissioner Phil Vandiver and District 5 Commissioner Phil Riddick applied for the position. Both said they were unaware if interviews took place, or what the process was to find a replacement.
“She’s just been inaugurated,” Vandiver said. “I’m sure she has a lot on her plate and will make the appointment at the appropriate time.”
“She hasn’t released to us how she is going to go forward with this,” Riddick added.
Although the commission is conducting business as usual, commissioners at previous meetings said the appointment of the new chairman is expected to impact pending issues such as the construction of a new county courthouse, expected to cost more than $65 million, the distribution of $36 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding and a $1 million annual bud- get increase request by District Attorney Rod Broussard’s office.