Probate Judge#039;s salary, school mill tax on Nov. 7 ballot

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 28, 2006

The Nov. 7 elections are right around the corner, and Crenshaw County voters will have several important issues on which to vote.

One of the main issues is Proposed Local Amendment One, which relates only to Crenshaw County and to the salary of the county's probate judge, Jim Perdue.

In Crenshaw County, this position has a salary of approximately $116,522, which is among the top four counties in the state. The other three counties which pay more than Crenshaw include Mobile, Fayette and Etowah.

According to the Association of County Commissions of Alabama, probate judges in counties with a similar population count as Crenshaw County get paid an average of approximately $64,000.

The amendment proposes that the probate judge's salary would be reduced, and it would be left up to the county commission to decide what the new salary would be.

Many people have expressed a concern about understanding the wording of the amendment. A vote of &#8220yes” means that the voter wants the probate judge's salary to be reduced, and a vote of &#8220no” means that the voter wants the probate judge's salary to remain the same.

Another amendment that, even though it is statewide, pertains to Crenshaw County in particular, is Proposed Statewide Amendment Number Two. It requires that every school district in the state to levy at least ten mills in order to participate in the state's Education Foundation Program and receive state funding. One mill is equal to $1 on every $10,000 of taxable residential property. The Crenshaw County School System is one of 30 school systems around the state that currently does not collect the 10 mills and relies instead on local sales taxes to make up the difference between the mills it collects and the 10-mill requirement of the Foundation Program.

A vote of &#8220yes” means that the voter wants the additional local ad valorem property tax for the Crenshaw County School System. A vote of &#8220no” means that the voter is against it.

Both amendments will appear on the back of the voter's ballot.

In local races, incumbent Charles West will face Independent candidate Bill Palmer for sheriff, while incumbent Ricky McElwain will face Independent candidate Dan Heartsill for Crenshaw County Commission, District One.

Also, Luverne native Sen. Wendell Mitchell will seek re-election against Greenville native Joan Reynolds.