Purple Heart county official

Published 11:00 pm Monday, August 13, 2012

New members of the Pike County Commission and Troy City Council pose for a photo with representatives from Military Order of the Purple Heart Chapter 2205.

Monday night’s Pike County Commission meeting opened to a full house, but it wasn’t agenda business that drew the crowd.

Members of the local Military Order of the Purple Heart presented the commission and Troy City Council with plaques recognizing Pike County as Alabama’s first Purple Heart county and Troy as the state’s first Purple Heart city.

In return, Chapter 2205 of the Military Order of the Purple Heart received framed proclamations from the city and county.

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“We really appreciate your display of patriotism,” K.T. Cole, commander of Chapter 2205, told the local politicians.

The commission and council voted to designate the county and city as Purple Heart locations on June 25, in part, to recognize 134 Pike County residents who have already given their lives in service to their country.

The commission’s meeting agenda was light Monday, with the commission approving the hire of a temporary engineer’s assistant and two full-time employees who’ll be working at the Probate Judge’s Office.

Pike County Probate Judge Wes Allen also brought a new idea to the commission. Allen told the commission that there was money from the Help America Vote Act that would allow the county to be reimbursed for purchasing iPads to be provided to polling inspectors during elections.

The iPads would store voting lists and would allow all inspectors easy access to help voters who were unsure of their polling places. The iPad lists will even provide information to inspectors as to whether or not a voter has already voted using an absentee ballot.

“We think this is a unique tool,” Allen said, adding that the list program locks down after an election to protect voter privacy.

The council approved the purchase of 30 iPads to be reimbursed by the federal grant.

The iPads will not be ready for the upcoming municipal elections, though.

In a pre-meeting public hearing, the commission heard from county departments on budget requests and will continue discussing next fiscal year’s budget at the scheduled commission meeting set for Aug. 27. Sept. 24 is the last scheduled meeting of the fiscal year.