Teresa Bell, a 2009 retiree from the Jackson County Commission recently spoke during the Commission’s Work Session.

Bell stated that she understands what the Commission faces during this time of year with budgeting. Bell stated she was asked to speak to the Commission regarding the 2018 one-time bonus for retirees. She stated that the last bonus was received in 2014. Bell requested that the Commissioners reconsider the one time lump sum bonus and to consider those who retired from Jackson County. Commissioner Mike Sisk stated that they would look at it and thanked Bell, along with other retirees for their service.
Alabama Extension Service County Extension Coordinator Themika Sims spoke to commissioners regarding the 4-H budget. Donna Sands spoke in further detail regarding the importance of 4-H. Sands has worked for the extension office for 10 years. Sands explained that without the county commission support they would not be able to have an in-school 4-H agent. Sands stated there are currently 564 students enrolled in 4-H throughout Jackson County. Sands  stated that due to economic circumstances, many of these children are not involved in other clubs and organizations. It was explained that one employee resigned in March. That position being replaced is contingent on the Jackson County Commission funding.
 Sisk stated, “I’m not going to hide no issue. I was born and raised in Paint Rock Valley. The issue I have with this, I think to me, as a commissioner, it should be put into the education side. We have so many needs here in this county. Thirty-two thousand dollars ($32,000) is not a whole lot, I know what you’re coming to the table about. We, taking care of tax payers money, it’s hard to come out. Just like these ladies here. My thoughts are, we’re sending tax dollars over there to the Board of Education each month, this is an education deal. With us giving a free ride to the building that you’re staged in it’s kind of hard for me to sit here and agree with some of this stuff. Do we pass it on or do we make a decision? Council on aging is in desperate need. I’m just one voice, but I don’t want to hide anything”
Sims responded, “We used to have an agreement across the state. County Commissions across the state typically provides housing and funding. All of the commissions across the state provide housing as well as if they can afford it, an appropriation.  Sisk stated, “Some of them have funding to do it with.”
Commission Jason Venable questioned, “Are any other school districts funding 4-H?”
Sims explained, “I’ve never known of a school system to make an allocation for 4-H in my 28 years.”
Sisk responded, “But if the county commission has always provided, schools haven’t even been approached.”
Sims then explained that  the school systems throughout the state have been approached. When you look at that one page, take a look at the investment that ACES is making in this county. That investment isn’t being made in any other county in this state, according to Sims.
Commissioner Tim Guffey stated, “When I was younger, my grandfather had cows. My children wouldn’t have  had that same exposure without 4-H. One thing we need to keep in mind is some of these kids won’t have the exposure to agriculture without 4-H.” 

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