Wilson named county administrator

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, July 24, 2018

McKenzie Wilson has been named the new county administrator after a 4-2 vote by the Pike County Commission Monday.

The commission had tied at 3-3 the previous two weeks between Wilson, director of safety and personnel for the county, and Dr. LaKerri Mack, Troy University professor and former president of the Boys and Girls Club of Pike and Surrounding Counties.

The initial vote ended in a tie with Wilson receiving votes from Chairman Robin Sullivan, District 2; Chad Copeland, District 4; and Russell Johnson, District 6, and Mack receiving votes from Homer Wright, District 1; Jimmy Barron, District 2; and Charlie Harris, District 5.

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At the next meeting, Johnson, Sullivan and Copeland voted again in favor of Wilson, while Barron, Harris and Wright voted against her, resulting in another tie vote. No motion was made at that time in favor of Mack.

Barron switched his vote Monday to resolve the tie, which could have gone on indefinitely had none of the commissioners changed their vote.

“I believe we had two outstanding candidates,” Barron said. “I voted for Dr. Mack the first time, but we didn’t have the votes – we ended in a tie vote twice. So I reevaluated to come to a conclusion … to not have a tie vote, somebody was going to have to give.

“McKenzie does an outstanding job in the commission office as the director of human resources and safety. She knows the other elected officials and knows the projects we have going on with the jail and Rex Lumber. I feel confident she can handle the job.”

Barron said there will be a six-month probation period for Wilson as there would be with any other new county employee for commissioners to monitor how she does in the position and to reevaluate at that time.

“I’m glad that we went through this process,” Sullivan said. “It was a big learning experience for me; I’ve never done this kind of thing before for this kind of a position.

“We have two very good candidates it could have went either way. I’m glad the process is over; as a county commission we’ve got to move on. We have a lot of things going on in the county at this time.”

Wilson had been serving as the interim director since former administrator Harry Sanders stepped down from the position in March. He had served in the role for 16 years.

“I’m excited to be continuing my work with the Pike County Commission as administrator,” Wilson said. “I look forward to working with these six commissioners and doing all I can for the people of Pike County.”

The commission made the vote after exiting executive session to discuss matters relating to good name and character, which is allowed under Alabama law.

In other business, the commission:

• Approved for County Engineer Russell Oliver to let annual bids for the Road Department.

• Approved for the extension of a line of credit at First National Bank that was due for July 31 for funding of emergency bridge repair in Goshen last year. The commission also approved to pay its $77,000 portion while waiting to be reimbursed by the state to finish paying the total cost of nearly $500,000.

The county will meet again upstairs at the Pike County health Department on Monday, Aug. 13. They will begin budget hearings at 3 p.m. until the work session at 5:15 p.m. A business meeting will then follow at 6 p.m.