“A Long Day…but Heroes Abound”

by David Money

November 8, 2016Election Day.  The actual planning for this day started months ago with an election staff consisting of, among others, Chief Clerk Claudette Hawthorne, Jon Taylor, Angela Craddock, Chris Trammell, Shae Williams, Jerry Green, James Lynn, Joe Vickers (and his Road & Bridge site prep team), Jerry Whitehead, the registrar’s office, the Henry County Election Canvassing Board (circuit clerk, sheriff and probate judge) and the training of almost 80 poll workers.  It represented the epitome of team work…and our heartfelt thanks to these mentioned and to countless others who helped make our local election run so smoothly despite an air of uneasiness and tension creating by all the negativity from those involved on the national scene.  There were also some special heroes who worked a very long day on the 8thSeveral probate office staff members who, under Claudette’s leadership, stayed until after 10:00 PM, the Sheriff’s office personnel – deputies who were on constant patrol during the day and night as well as S. O. staff members who stayed until all precincts had reported.  Our thanks to the poll workers who reported to service as early as 6:00 AM and stayed at their post for 13 to 14 hours…and, in the case of Headland, poll workers who worked until after 9:00 PM.  And to the voters all over the countyall 8,143 of you who turned out to vote, I thank you for your perseverance, your patience and your commitment to being an integral part of the democratic process.  There were lines at some point in the day at almost every location – and pretty much all day in Headland.  I stopped by there on three different occasions…each time to see lines of 100 to 200 voters outside patiently waiting – some for 90 minutes or more.  A 65% voter turnout is remarkable. I heard many long time citizens remark that this was the largest Henry County election they could remember.   Again, it takes team work to make things work smoothly and that was very evident last Tuesday.  In closing, I thank the voters of Henry County for supporting several state amendments that are important to the future of our county… and for your support of local Henry County Amendment # 1 by an almost two to one margin.  I’m humbled by your vote of confidence and promise to continue to work as hard as possible to enhance the quality of life in Henry County. 

30 Day Update:October probate activity:  two wills probated, five involuntary commitments, one temporary guardianship, two administrations, one guardianship/conservatorship, one name change, two final settlements, three miscellaneous hearings and ten marriage licenses issued.

  • Citizens with commercial tags needing to be renewed have eight days remaining in which to renew their tags without penalty.  Only ‘new purchase’ tags are issued in December.
  • October 31/November 2 – County Commissioner Greg Reynolds and I had two fruitful days at the Montgomery board member training of SEARP&DC.  Henry County native Tom Solomon does a tremendous job in his role as Executive Director of this organization.  SEARP&DC is one of the cornerstones of economic development in the southeast Alabama region.
  • November 2 – special thanks to Superintendent Lesa Knowles and Principal Jason Bradford for providing the HHS auditorium for the two hour poll workers training session.  Approximately 75 poll workers attended.
  • November 3 – Jon Taylor, Claudette Hawthorne and Chris Trammel trained about a dozen election officials on the new iPads that were used at five different polling places for the general election.  Secretary of State John Merrill asked me to permit Henry County to be a pilot county for this new system.  It ran very smoothly and came at no cost to our county.
  • November 8 – 8,143 Henry County citizens went to the polls to participate in the general election (read more about this at the beginning of this column.)
  • November 9 – Veteran’s Day.  Prayers were offered during ceremonies of remembrance today throughout Henry County, our state and our nation.  Let us never forget!
  • November 15 – Judge Derek Peterson, Sheriff Maddox and I hosted about a dozen outstanding students from Mr. King’s Headland High School ‘Law and Society’ class.  This was coordinated by their career coach Amanda Hardy.
  • November 15 – the annual ‘Farm City Banquet’ was held at Headland First Baptist Church.  Jimmy Jones and his staff work extremely hard throughout the year – hundreds of citizens look forward to this annual event as it marks the beginning of the Thanksgiving season.
  • November 16 – Alabama law mandates that our monthly commission meetings be held on this date this year due to the general election being held on our normal meeting day.  Benton Beasley (District 1) and Greg Reynolds (District 5) were sworn in to begin their new terms.
  • November 16 – the Henry County Youth Leadership team members participated in our annual ‘Spirit of Volunteerism Day’ by visiting Vivian B. Adams School, the Henry County Commission meeting, the Wiregrass Rehab facility and the Wiregrass Area United Way Food Bank.

Dates to Remember:

  • November 18 – Wiregrass United Way Pork Loin sale – HNB-First on the square in Headland. Pork loins can be picked up from 11:00 AM until 6:00 PM.
  • November 26 – the ‘Iron Bowl’ will be held in Tuscaloosa.  Nothing compares to the excitement that builds before this game – especially with both teams having winning seasons.
  • November 29 – Headland ‘Holiday Open House/Christmas Tree Lighting’ – Downtown Headland – 6:00 PM.
  • November 30 – Abbeville Christmas Tree Lighting and Christmas Program – 5:00 PM – Court House Square (rumor has it that Santa may possibly be hanging out at the Chamber office.
  • December 5 – Abbeville Christmas Parade – 5:00 PM
  • December 7-8 – ACCA Legislative Conference and ACCA board meeting – Montgomery
  • December 10 – Headland Christmas parade – 10:00 AM
  • December 13 – Happy Birthday, Henry County – you are 197 years old today.
  • December 13 – December Administrative meeting – 9:00 AM – Probate Court Room
  • December 13 – December Commission meeting – 10:30 AM – Probate Court Room