City or County Governance

LWVAL Action Priority Level III - If and when opportunities arise, assess if action is feasible given resources and priorities.

Click a bill to see sponsor(s), summary (including link to full text), League action and justification for that action, and progress of the bill through the legislative progress. Inclusion of a bill in this list does not necessarily indicate LWVAL support. The League's position, if any, is noted under League Action & Justification.

green-right-arrow.jpgIndicates change from previous week's report such as new progress in the legislature and/or League action. These updates are in green font.

LWVAL is monitoring these bills.

HB 404 - Procedure for adoption of a Council-Manager form of government by Class 6 municipalities

Sponsor(s): Reps. Greg Canfield, Paul DeMarco, and Jack Williams

Summary/Synopsis: This bill would authorize the governing body of a Class 6 municipality, by resolution and without the requirement of a petition, to call an election on the adoption of a council-manager form of government with a five-member council consisting of a mayor and four council members elected at large. The process described is simpler that current code. The bill rehearses several previous “alternative methods” authorized in earlier bills on this subject, and declares that provisions of this bill supersede conflicting provisions left from other bills.
League Action and Justification: LWVAL is monitoring HB 404.

Bill Progress in Legislature: 1st Read: 1/21/10 and assigned to

SB 216 - County commissions, parts of Title 11, Code of Alabama 1975 revised, general provisions, bonds, county commissions, codification, county seats and courthouses, acquisition of land, law libraries

Sponsor(s): Sen. Hank Sanders

Summary/Synopsis: This long, comprehensive and complex bill seems designed to correct, clarify or repeal a great range of items in Title 11 of the Code, which deals with county government.

Details are specified about the bonding of county officials and employees, including raising the amounts of the bonds, and handling forfeiture. The bonds are paid for by the funds the officials oversee. Those required to be bonded include persons appointed to public boards by the county commission—a requirement that might reduce citizen participation in government. Employees may be added to those bonded by the County Commission.

Other provisions revise (a) the process for the review and payment of claims against the county, (b) the filling of vacancies on the county commission, [removing complex schedule for elections and providing for appointment by the governor for the unexpired term], (c) for preparation of county assessment maps, and (d) rules for relocation of county seats and courthouses, (e) provisions for creation and maintenance of county law libraries, and (f) regulation for acquisition of lands.

Among code sections repealed are those relating to appointing county land surveyors, dipping cattle, contracting for government survey field notes, and providing for publication and codification of public laws.
League Action and Justification: LWVAL is monitoring SB 216.

Bill Progress in Legislature: 1st Read: 1/12/10 and assigned to

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