Commission urges voters to eliminate #8216;super#039; status

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 4, 2006

Commissioner Jesse McWilliams is encouraging county voters to support a amendment phasing out supernumerary status in Butler County for certain elected officials.

The amendment would effectively phase out the supernumerary retirement system for elected positions inside the county. With the supernumerary program in place, the county must pay 100 percent of the sheriff's, and a portion of the tax collector's and tax assessor's, retirement from the county's general fund.

Supernumerary status would be replaced with the state's retirement system.

&#8220The change would shift the burden of paying an elected official's retirement benefit from the citizens of Butler County and transfer it to the state retirement system,” said McWilliams. &#8220With the voters approval, all of our elected officials would be given the opportunity in the future to participate in the state retirement system. By passing this proposal, Butler County would join the vast majority of Alabama counties which have abolished the direct payment supernumerary system of retirement benefits.”

54 counties in the state have already eliminated the supernumerary program, according to McWilliams.

&#8220We want to be number 55,” he said. &#822054 counties have already abolished this costly system and it is now time for Butler County to do the same in order to save our taxpayers money.”

McWilliams said current sheriff Diane Harris, as well as tax assessor Carolyn Middleton and tax collector Belle Peavy, would be unaffected by the amendment's passage.

According to County Administrator Diane Kilpatrick, Harris will qualify for the maximum supernumerary salary benefit of 65 percent of her current salary, which will amount to $39,557 per year for life. Middleton will qualify for 75 percent of her current salary ($42,429 per year for life), and Peavy will qualify for 65 percent of her current salary ($36,772.54 per year for life).