From the Courthouse to your House (August 2017)

“Get in the Game”

By:  David Money

     In 1988, I left the mayor’s office after twelve years in municipal government.  There was no doubt in my mind that a career in public service had ended.  Our business was going through some challenging times and I needed to devote all my energies to bringing it back.  Then, in 1999, I attended ‘The Walk to Emmaus’ in the Big Bend community near Tallahassee.  That weekend I heard a talk from a lay speaker that centered on Isaiah 6:8 – when the Lord asked, “Who will go for us – whom shall I send?”  And Isaiah answered, “Here am I, Lord…send me.” I’ve never forgotten that talk…and that became a life verse for me.  It reminds me that we are all called to missions…to serve others.  Karen, Erin and I have since been on numerous mission trips – to help establish churches in Costa Rica and Belize…to assist in the vaccination of sheep, goats, horses and dogs on the Navajo Reservations of New Mexico and Arizona…to take supplies to the poor regions of Appalachia surrounding the Red Bird Mission in eastern Kentucky.  The more we served the more blessed we became.  And it opened my eyes to how much I missed public service.

     After selling the dealership in 2011 a door opened that would allow the opportunity for a return to public service.  For the past 4 ½ years, I’ve been honored to serve as your probate judge and county commission chairman.  I’ve recently shared my desire to serve one final term.  A strong foundation has been laid but there’s still much work to be done.  We’ve just returned from the annual convention of the Association of County Commissions of Alabama (A.C.C.A.)  Strategies were developed that should lead to more jobs for our citizens, better county roads, a plan for a revised juvenile justice system and improvements in many other areas of concern for those of us in Henry County.  The convention’s theme was ‘Get in the Game.’  Last Thursday, I was elected as the A.C.C.A. vice president for the coming year.  With it comes an opportunity to have an even stronger voice for Henry County on the state level.  

     Public service is much like mission work…it can and should be a ministry of sorts…a calling to serve, to meet needs, to be there for others.  Since January of 2013, I’ve centered my work around a second verse of scripture, Micah 6:8:  “Seek Justice, Love Mercy and Walk Humbly with your God.”  May that be our guiding principle as we all seek to ‘get in the game.’


30 Day Update:

  • Probate Court Activity for July: one probating of a will; two adoptions; two involuntary commitments; two guardianships; seven miscellaneous hearings; five final settlements; two name changes and seven marriage licenses issued
  • If your last name begins with ‘J’ – ‘K’ – ‘R’ today is the final day to renew your tags and avoid a penalty. Last names beginning with ‘Q’ – ‘S’ – ‘T’ will renew in September.
  • July 31 – We welcomed U.S. Senate candidate Mo Brooks as he visited Henry County.
  • August 2 – I attended an A.C.C.A. Workers Comp board meeting in Montgomery.
  • August 3 – Abbeville and Headland Chambers sponsored a luncheon honoring Wallace Community College baseball coach Mackey Sasser and WCC President Dr. Linda Young.
  • August 5 – We attended the Henry County Historical Group’s annual dinner/meeting.
  • August 7 – Around 80 poll workers attended our poll worker’s training at AUMC.
  • August 8 – I interviewed for vice president of the Association of County Commissions of Alabama in Montgomery – the election will be held on August 24
  • August 15 – We had a small turnout (app. 18%) for the U. S. Senate primary election.
  • August 16 – I attended an Alabama Juvenile Justice Task Force meeting at the Capitol.
  • August 21-25 – We attended the A.C.C.A. annual convention in Orange Beach.
  • August 28 – HCHR board meeting – noon at HCHR board room.
  • August 28 – I represented Henry County at the dedication of ‘The Rainbow Soldier.’ It was exactly 100 years ago (August 28, 1917) that 3,677 WWI soldiers departed Union Station in Montgomery.  Several from Henry County were in that 42nd Rainbow Infantry Division, including my grandfather and great uncle.  They have all now been memorialized with the unveiling of a bronze statue at Union Station.   
  • August 31 – Henry County Commission 2017/18 budget preparation work session.


Dates to Remember:

  • September 4 – Enjoy a safe Labor Day holiday.
  • September 7-10 – Bethlehem Walk to Emmaus (Dr. Perry Mobley is the lay director.)
  • September 12 – Wallace College Foundation Board meeting
  • September 12 – September Administrative meeting – 9:00 AM – Probate Court Room
  • September 12 – September Commission meeting – 10:30 AM – Probate Court Room
  • September 13 – E911 board meeting – Headland annex
  • September 13/14 – A.C.C.A. board member seminar – Lake Martin
  • September 14 – SEARP&DC board member/annual dinner – Ozark Civic Center
  • September 21 – Henry County Youth Leadership conference at Troy University
  • September 22 – ‘Leadership Alabama’ regional luncheon – Dothan Country Club
  • September 26 – Republican runoff for the U. S. Senate election

From the Courthouse to your House (June 2017)

‘Why Must It Be So Complicated?’

By:  David Money

     The Alabama legislative process is by no means a simple one.  Much more goes on ‘behind the scenes’ in Montgomery than is visible on the floor of the House or the Senate.  Never has that been more apparent than during the debate over the ATRIP2 legislation as the 2017 session drew to a close.  By statute, all revenue bills must originate in the House of Representatives.  Those bills are not allowed to come to a vote on the floor of the House until the General Fund budget has been passed (which historically happens well into the session.)  A way around this is through what’s known as the B.I.R. (Budget Isolation Resolution.)  Passage of a B.I.R. that is tied to a specific revenue bill allows that particular piece of legislation to be brought to a vote on the House floor even if the General Fund budget has not been passed.

     The purpose in addressing this in this column is to clarify what has become a confusing situation.  I’ve been asked about statements I had made indicating that our local legislators in the House of Representatives were not supportive of the ATRIP2 legislation (this is the bill that would have provided over $10 million in funding to make needed improvements to almost 100 miles of roads in Henry County and its municipalities.)  Here is the clarification:  I have no doubt whatsoever that IF the ATRIP2 legislation had gotten to a vote, every local Representative in the Wiregrass area would have voted for it.  I have no doubt about that.  The issue is that there was a problem just getting it to a vote.  When you have the ‘no new tax under any circumstance’ Republicans as well as the Democratic Caucus and various other special interest groups trying to work deals to satisfy their own interests, the easiest way to prevent this type revenue legislation from coming to a vote is to bog down efforts to get the B.I.R. passed.  That is what happened with the ATRIP2 bill.

      Sadly, too often the ‘wants’ of special interest groups blind them to the ‘needs’ we face on the county level every day.  My ‘special interest’ is this:  to improve our roads and do it as soon as funds are available to get it done.  Legislators don’t get the majority of calls from citizens who are rightfully demanding better roads.  Those calls are made – as they should be – to their county commissioners and to the local road and bridge department.  But, the truth of the matter is that our hands are tied financially.  No one wants better roads more than we do – it is the number one priority in county government – but, as a county commission, we don’t have the statutory authority to pass some magical funding mechanism.  That is the role of the legislature.  So to any legislator who felt I was indicating that they didn’t support the bill itself, I apologize.  My plea to each of them is this:  do all you can to get the legislation to a vote on the floor of the House; then support it by voting ‘Yes.’


30 Day Updates

  • May probate activity: five adoptions, nine guardianship/conservatorships, three involuntary commitments, one miscellaneous hearing and 14 marriage licenses sold
  • If your last name begins with “I” or “M” you have only today and tomorrow to renew your tags without penalty. July will be the renewal month for those with last names beginning with “L” or “P”
  • June 6 – attended the Wallace College Foundation Board meeting in Dothan
  • June 7 – attended an Alabama Workers Comp board meeting in Montgomery
  • June 8 – attended the Todd’s Farm RV Campground ribbon cutting in Headland
  • June 8 – attended the SEARP&DC board meeting in Dothan
  • June 13 – appointed by Governor Ivey to serve on the Alabama Juvenile Justice Task Force (representing the Association of County Commissioners of Alabama)
  • June 12/14 – attended the Alabama Probate Judges Association Summer Conference
  • June 20 – monthly administration and commission meetings
  • June 21/22 – attended the ‘Budget & Finance’ conference in Prattville
  • June 26 – attended the HCHR board meeting in Abbeville
  • June 28/29 – attended the ‘Alabama County Government’ conference and the ACCA board meeting in Prattville and Montgomery

Dates to Remember:

  • June 30 – Wiregrass Forum in Ozark
  • July 4 – Happy 241st Birthday, America
  • July 11 – July Administrative meeting – 9:00 AM – Probate Court Room
  • July 11 – July Commission meeting – 10:30 AM – Probate Court Room
  • July 20 – Alabama Juvenile Justice Task Force meeting – Montgomery

From the Courthouse to your House (May 2017)

“Watching County Road Restoration Funds Disappear Down the (Pot) Hole”

By:  David Money

     As this is being written on Friday, May 19th), the Alabama Legislature is today winding down the 2017 legislative session…with ZERO help for county roads. This is especially frustrating because county and city officials from all over the Wiregrass had come together in support of a plan that would have made a remarkable difference in our quest for economic development and improved road safety.  The effort that died in this year’s session actually began with meetings with legislators last summer and fall.  Then in December, counties statewide voted to endorse a program, drafted by the Association of County Commissions of Alabama (ACCA), that would generate a funding source with all the proceeds earmarked to restore county roads that are not eligible for federal funds.  As the ACCA District 11 board member (representing the nine counties in the most southeastern part of Alabama) I know firsthand the work and effort that went into crafting a piece of legislation that is both affordable and accountable.  It would use a three cents per gallon fuel tax increase to support a $1.2 billion dollar bond issue.  As has been stated, for the driver putting 20,000 miles per year on a vehicle averaging 22 mpg, this would result in a charge of about $1.25 per month (the price of a 20 ounce soft drink – one soft drink per month!)  Henry County alone would have realized $10.2 million dollars from this program – known as ATRIP2.  Our county engineer and his staff had already met with each individual commissioner to determine the roads in most need of work in each district.  We were prepared to put out proposals as soon as the legislation was signed by Governor Ivey (who remains a strong supporter of this legislation.)  We would have been one of the first counties in the state to begin shovel ready projects.  In addition to providing relief for Henry County, 20% of the proceeds were earmarked for the four towns in our county – each mayor strongly supported the legislation.  We were prepared to resurface 75 to 100 miles of roads in Henry County and its municipalities.  This kind of program is well beyond our reach with today’s revenue.  All of the local officials in our area went on record in support of this effort.  And we were encouraged when the bill was finally scheduled for a floor vote. 

     So what happened?  When that day came and the bill reached the floor of the House of Representatives in April, it was pulled before a vote could ever be taken.  In the aftermath of our disappointment, the ACCA reported that the effort was unsuccessful for three reasons: First, the members of the Democratic Caucus in the House collectively led a filibuster and prevented a critical procedural vote (called the BIR) that is necessary to move a bill to the floor.  Second, a group of north Alabama Republican legislators who ran on the platform of ‘no new taxes’ refused to support the bill despite its many accountability provisions.  And, third, the mayors of Alabama’s five largest cities sought to change the established formula for distributing gas tax revenue because they wanted to shift more money into their cities. 

     These factors influenced a few (including some of our local legislators) to find reasons to step away from the bill when we had the opportunity to get it passed.  Because of this, the citizens of Henry County are left right where we were this time last year when the 2016 session ended: driving on badly and quickly deteriorating roads with no money for repairs.

     I’ve received four calls this morning (May 19th) from citizens complaining about the conditions of our roads (two of those calls were about County Road 55.)  Three of the four callers stated that they would have gladly paid the small increase for improved roads.  They expect and deserve accountability.  And they would have gotten it.  It was my plan to publish regular updates to publicize the roads that were to be resurfaced as well as the projected cost for each road.  We would have then identified each month the road(s) that would have been the next ones to be resurfaced.  EVERY PENNY of the new ATRIP2 funding would have gone to roads…no salary increases…no new equipment…all to roads that needed it most.    

     So what’s next?  I personally believe this issue is too important to die simply because the session has ended.  There’s the possibility of a special session being called this summer and the hope, if there is one, that Governor Ivey will place the infrastructure issue in her Call. If that happens I urge you to contact your legislator and enlist his support of this critical legislation.  I know of no other answer.  I welcome – no, encourage – anyone to show me a plan whereby we can resurface the roads you drive on every day without the resources to pay for it.  Let’s get our heads out of the sand and do what’s needed in Henry County.

30 Day Update:

  • March probate activity was as follows: one will probated, one adoption, three involuntary commitments, two guardianships, two administrations, one legitimation, one final settlement, two miscellaneous hearings and eleven marriage licenses issued.
  • Citizens with last names beginning with ‘H’ or ‘O’ have five days remaining to renew your tags. If your last name begins with ‘I’ or ‘M’ you will renew in June.
  • May 1 – several businessmen met with Representative Grimsley to urge his support of the ATRIP2 program to generate much needed funds for county road improvements.
  • May 4 – we presented Henry County Youth Leadership pins to HHS participants.
  • May 11 – we observed the National Day of Prayer with a very meaningful service in the upstairs court room.
  • May 5 – Wallace College Foundation Board members assisted in the ribbon cutting ceremony for the very impressive Health Science Building on the Wallace campus.
  • May 15 – the Henry County Road Department made its final pass through the tornado damaged area in Sunset Acres – our sincere appreciation to all who have helped.
  • May 17 – we presented Henry County Youth Leadership pins to ACA participants.
  • May 18 – we presented Henry County Youth Leadership pins to AHS participants.
  • May 21 – we attended the retirement reception for Phil and Katie Craddock at Headland United Methodist Church.
  • May 21 – we attended the celebration of the 20th birthday of the Haleburg Senior Citizens Center.
  • May 22 – HCHR board meeting
  • May 23 – we held the commencement dinner honoring the nine participants of the 2016/2017 Henry County Youth Leadership Program. We also welcomed back the participants from Class # 1 and introduced the participants for Class # 3.

Dates to Remember:

  • May 31 – E-911 board meeting – Headland E-911 office
  • June 6 – Wallace College Foundation Board meeting – Dothan
  • June 7 – ACCA Workers Comp Board meeting – Montgomery
  • June 11/14 – APJA Summer Conference in Orange Beach
  • June 18 – Father’s Day
  • June 20 – May Administrative meeting – 9:00 AM – Probate Court Room
  • June 20 – May Commission meeting – 10:30 AM – Probate Court Room

From the Courthouse to your House (April 2017)

“From the Eye of the Storm to the Hearts of the People”

By:  David Money

     Just before noon on April 5, 2017, the White Oak Creek area of north Henry County was hit by an EF-2 tornado.  Sadly, there were at least nine homes destroyed and more than twenty others that received extensive damage – primarily in the Sunset Acres and Calhoun Drive areas.  But we are grateful that there were no deaths or reported injuries.  There are many people, churches and organizations to thank.  At the risk of omitting some who have been a part of this effort, I’d like to mention a few.  Henry County Engineer Chris Champion, EMA Director Ronnie Dollar and Sheriff Will Maddox and their staffs were on site immediately – clearing roads, securing the area, assessing damages and making sure that needs were being met.  District Three County Commissioner Jay Calhoun and his family brought food to those involved.  The Calhoun family and the Crawford Bush family offered their land to place the tons of trees and limbs that had to be removed from the storm damaged area.  Calvary Baptist Church and the Henry County Court House made safe places available for those who didn’t have one.  First Baptist Church paid for motel rooms for some of those temporarily displaced while Dale Ezzell and other members of the Abbeville United Methodist Church offered housing for volunteers who came in from out of state.  Disaster teams from Ridgecrest Baptist in Dothan, Watermark Church in Ashford, the Judson Baptist Association and other churches from across the area have been there to help residents cut trees off their houses and take them to county road right of ways.  Various power companies and other utility companies worked together to restore power and communication systems.  Local volunteer fire departments from around the county were on site immediately and stayed as long as they were needed.  Many groups from across the state either joined the effort or offered to do so. 

     Several of us toured the area with Alabama EMA Director Art Falkner the day after the tornado.  The threshold for a federal declaration is $7M.  The estimated damages fell far short of that number meaning that Henry County will bear the blunt of the expenses incurred in removing all the debris.  Houston County Commission Chairman Mark Culver – as well as the Houston County Commission and their Road and Bridge Department – are to be thanked for sending men, trucks and equipment to assist us with the tons of debris that had to be removed.  With a small road and bridge staff, we are limited with what can be done in other areas of the county while we tend to the immediate needs in the lake area.  I thank you for your patience in regard to the needed road repairs in your area until we can get back on schedule. 

      In situations like these, it takes a well-coordinated effort from all involved as well as an understanding of the importance of communication and working together to make things better for all those affected.  On behalf of the citizens of Henry County – and especially those residents who were directly affected by the storm – a very special ‘thank you’ to everyone who worked to make an unfortunate situation better.  We are most appreciative of those who brought food for the residents and the workers, those who have given financially and all who have prayed for the welfare of those who were in the path of the tornado.  It truly represents the giving spirit of the residents of Henry County and the Wiregrass region.  Thank you.


        30 Day Update:

  • March probate activity was as follows: one will probated, one adoption, three involuntary commitments, two guardianships, two administrations, one legitimation, one final settlement, two miscellaneous hearings and eleven marriage licenses issued.
  • All citizens with last names beginning with ‘F’ – ‘G’ – ‘N’ who failed to renew their tags in April will be subject to a penalty in May. If you last name begins with ‘H’ or ‘O’ then May will be your month to renew your tags.
  • March 31 – attended the Wiregrass Forum in Ozark to get an update from our legislators
  • April 4 – attended an information meeting at the new Alabama Power emergency staging area (the former Gathering Place in Headland.)
  • April 5 – an EF2 tornado strikes White Oak Creek area of northern Henry County
  • April 6 – we toured the area damaged by the tornado with the state EMA director and began to make restoration plans.
  • April 7 – attended Child Advocacy program in Dothan
  • April 10 – took the HCYLP students to the Hyundai plant for ‘State Industry Day’
  • April 13 – D-1 Commissioner Benton Beasley and I spent most of the day in the State House to lobby for funding for Henry County roads
  • April 19 – took the HCYLP students to the Capitol tour and a legislative session as part of State Government day
  • April 20 – hosted more than 75 Henry County 11th graders for Student Government Day
  • April 21 – hosted about 15 Lakeside Christian home school students for court house tour
  • April 27/28 – attended Alabama Probate Judges conference in Tuscaloosa
  • May 3 – Henry County Engineer Chris Champion, Commissioner Henry Grimsley and I attended ‘County Days’ at the State House (again to lobby for Henry Co road funding.)


         Dates to Remember:

  • May 4 – National Day of Prayer on the west lawn of the court house – 11:00 AM
  • May 5 – Abbeville Chamber monthly meeting at GSWCC – 12:00 noon
  • May 5 – Wallace College Health Science Building dedication – 10:00 AM – public invited
  • May 5 – Abbeville Chamber ‘Yatta Abba’ Street Dance – Downtown Abbeville – 6:00
  • May 6 – Abbeville Chamber ‘Yatta Abba’ Festival – Downtown Abbeville – 9:00 – 3:00
  • May 9 – May Administrative meeting – Probate Court Room – 9:00 AM
  • May 9 – May Commission meeting – Probate Court Room – 10:30 AM
  • May 12 – AUMC Dinner/Auction for Missions – AUMC – 5:30 PM
  • May 15 – final pass for debris cleanup from tornado damage (Sunset Acres/Calhoun Dr.)
  • May 20 – Headland Chamber Daylily Art/Garden Festival – Headland Sq. – 10:00 – 3:00
  • May 23 – HCYLP Commencement Dinner – AUMC-FLC – 6:00 PM
  • May 29 – Memorial Day (please remember those who have sacrificed for our freedom)


May 9, 2017


Abbeville, AL – Due to the severe storm damage that occurred in northeast Henry County on Wednesday, April 5, 2017, the Henry County Road Department will be picking up tree and limb debris.  Residents that live in Sunset Acres, which includes Lakeview Drive, Sunset Drive, Laurel Drive, Magnolia Street, Dogwood Circle, Hillcrest Drive and Holly Drive along with residents that live on Calhoun Drive may place tree and limb debris by the road for pickup.  No household or demolition debris will be picked up.

The road department will make the final pass through the area the week of May 15th.  Any debris left after May 15th will be the responsibility of the property owner.

Any questions concerning this may contact the Road Department at 334-585-2735.

From the Courthouse to your House (March 2017)

“Everybody Needs One”

By:  David Money

There are many ‘buzz’ words, phrases and texting acronyms floating around today: ‘fake news’ – ‘going forward’ – ‘at the end of the day’ – ‘LOL’ – ‘SMH’ – “BFF” and countless of others. There is another one that has been around awhile…but, in the past few years, is being used more and more: ‘mentor.’ With the traditional family structure having undergone a drastic change over the years, there are many single parent families with children in need of a father or mother figure. Fortunately, there are many organizations addressing those needs (Boys & Girls Clubs, church groups, civic clubs, etc.) Although it has been around for centuries, we hear the term ‘mentoring’ used more today than ever before.

For me, mentoring began 50 years ago this spring. Our parents had divorced and I was living with my grandparents in Shorterville. I had no plans to go to college until Uncle Lindy paid my tuition and told me in no uncertain terms that I was going to Wallace Junior College (now Wallace Community College) and play on its first baseball team. He and his brothers (Bob, Coy, Jimmy, Hawley, Knocker) always made sure that I had a summer job, a little ‘jingle’ in my pocket and nice cars to date on each weekend (Chevy Impala Super Sports with 327’s and floor shifts – this was before we got into the Ford business.) Once at Wallace, I met the first non-family mentor I ever had – Wallace Baseball and Basketball Coach Johnny Oppert. He knew my family situation and realized that I may not be running with high character guys. He and Mr. Jack Carr had offices in the gymnasium and mandated that I report to them every day. They found me things to do (like going across campus to get hot water for Mr. Carr’s ‘sea rations.’) Years later it became clear that Coach Oppert gave me those menial jobs just so he could keep an eye on me – and make sure I stayed out of trouble. On baseball trips, he often assigned me to room with him. I no doubt learned more about life from him during those two baseball seasons than at any other time in my life. He taught me to be make good decisions (and to take full responsibility for the bad ones I did make) – as well as to be accountable to others, to be respectful of authority and try to live a life of integrity.

Coach Oppert still lives in his home town of Dothan and is now approaching 80. Although he is battling some medical issues, he continues to have that great sense of humor as well as that intense competitive spirit. On March 11th, Wallace College honored the first baseball team. Eleven of the fifteen players on that 1967 team returned to be recognized and honored in a pre-game ceremony.

The highlight of the day for me was hearing those guys express the same feelings about Coach Oppert that I have. We talked of his leadership, his discipline, his teaching and obviously his coaching. He was a mentor to most of us. On that Saturday, he was asked to throw out the first pitch before the Wallace /Alabama Southern game. I reminded him that when George Bush threw out the first pitch in old Yankee Stadium after the 9-11 tragedy, Derek Jeter told the president, ‘Don’t bounce it.’ You might remember that President Bush fired a perfect strike. Last Saturday, I told Coach Oppert that if he needed to move up to about half way between the mound and home plate, we’d all understand. He looked at me and said, ‘Are you serious!’ He nailed it…right down the middle. We never doubted he would.

Mentoring is not easy. It requires time, patience, understanding…and you have to have a heart for it. It’s a calling…a spiritual gift. And it’s needed more now than ever. I hope we never pass on the opportunity to be one for someone else. We all need one…and I’m thankful that in 1967 there was one there for me.

30 Day Update:

• February probate activity was as follows: four wills probated, two involuntary commitments, one guardianship/conservatorship, one administration, one legitimation, three final settlements, six miscellaneous hearings and ten marriage licenses issued.

• Citizens with last names beginning with ‘C’ or ‘E’ have today and tomorrow to renew your tags without penalty. Those with last names beginning with ‘F’ – ‘G’ – ‘N’ will renew your tags in April.

• March 2-5 – I was very honored to serve with 100+ others (including 25 to 30 Henry County citizens) on Bethlehem Walk to Emmaus #31 – your participation and service is always encouraged.

• March 7 – Attended the Wallace College Foundation Board meeting. Dozens of Henry County students benefit each semester from scholarships provided by the Foundation. Please check out scholarship opportunities available at:

• March 11 – It was a lot of fun joining a dozen other guys from the first Wallace baseball team (1967) for a pre-game ceremony at the college. The Wallace staff made it a special day for us.

• March 13 – met with Ronnie Davis and board members of the Wiregrass R.C. & D Council as they awarded $32,000.00 in grants to various Henry County agencies. They are very community-minded.

• March 18 – A family engagement prevented me from attending the groundbreaking for the new addition at Greater Shiloh Baptist Church in Headland. Delvick and Lori McKay, as well as their church family, are involved in many things to help the citizens of Henry County.

• March 22 – I attended the SARCOA Executive Committee and Board meetings in Dothan.
Dates to Remember:

• April 3 – Wiregrass legislative delegation at the Dothan Chamber office today.

• April 4 – I look forward to the Community Wide Prayer Breakfast at 7:30 in the Dothan Civic Center. The speaker will be former University of Alabama and New York Yankee baseball player, Andy Phillips. (‘Bama’ & ‘Yankee’ go together like peanut butter & jelly.)

• April 4 – Scott Farmer from SEARP&DC will host an 11:00 public meeting in the Probate Court Room. Subject: “Human Services Coordinated Transportation Plan”

• April 6 – The Abbeville Chamber of Commerce will host students from the Henry County Youth Leadership Program at their noon luncheon today.

• April 6-9 – My favorite event on the sports calendar begins today – ‘The Master’s’ from Augusta National. That plus ‘The Final Four’ and the beginning of the major league baseball season are a few of the reasons that April (and October) are the two best sports months of the year.

• April 10 – Our Henry County Youth Leadership students will visit the Hyundai Assembly plant south of Montgomery – they will gain a better understanding of the world of robotics.

• April 11 – April Administrative meeting – 9:00 AM – Probate Court Room

• April 11 – April Commission meeting – 10:30 AM – Probate Court Room (Visit our meeting and have a chance to win a homemade pie.)

• April 14 – Good Friday

• April 16 – Easter Sunday

• April 17 – Headland Chamber Showcase – Headland Square – 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM

• April 19 – The Henry County Youth Leadership students will visit the State House, the Capitol and the Governor’s Mansion today – this will be the final outing of the 2016/17 year.

• April 20 – Wallace College Foundation’s “Golf ‘Fore’ Scholarships” golf tournament at Highland Oaks in Dothan. Henry County student scholarships are funded through the efforts of the Foundation Board.

• April 24 – Confederate Memorial Day

• April 27/28 – The Alabama Probate Judges Association’s annual conference will be held at the Capstone Hotel and at the Alabama Law School in Tuscaloosa.

• April 27/30 – Bethlehem Walk to Emmaus #32 (Ladies Walk)

From the Courthouse to your House (Feb 2016)

“The Matthew Five Approach”

By David Money

     Every four years with the inauguration of a new President, January becomes the month of hope…new ideas…new birth…a new approach.  But today’s truth is of far greater value than tomorrow’s promise.  Many examples of ‘truth’ are found right here Henry County…programs that represent truth…love…hope…a new chance…a fresh start.  One such program can be found at the Abbeville United Methodist Church. 

     A few years ago, a small circle of caring people saw a tremendous need…and, under the guidance of the Enterprise United Methodist Church, brought ‘Celebrate Recovery’ to our county.  Those few disciples prayed for just 12 people to come forward. Twelve people who had a need – or twelve people who were willing to help meet that need – or any combination thereof.  From that dozen or so evolved 20…then 30, 40 and now over 50 each week.  The situations are varied but yet so very similar…many battle addictions, grief, loss, depression, anxiety, shame, anger, guilt, resentment, divorce and on and on.  At CR they are fed…first from the kitchen, then by each other through times of sharing and, ultimately, they are fed everlastingly from The Word.  Last Thursday night 52 came at 6:00 PM for supper.  Later, they sang…they listened…they shared…they cried. Then they helped clean up.  At 8:58, they left with a sense of healing…of being loved…knowing that there are many who care.

     Celebrate Recovery extends beyond the Thursday night walls of AUMC.  ‘CR Inside’ provides a ministry inside the Henry County Jail.  Celebrate Recovery is a friend of a court system that recognizes CR as a path for sobriety, personal growth and a community of support for those who follow the steps.  Volunteers come at 3:00 to prepare the meal…they stay until 9:00 to clean up – they are there to welcome them in, visit with and encourage them, provide the music, lead the studies and the small groups…they are there to listen to them and pray for/with them.  Their approach is time tested, proven …and from the heart.  They are there for the ‘poor in spirit, for those who mourn, for the persecuted, for the meek, for those who hunger and thirst after righteousness.’  Those who volunteer do what they do through a spirit of silent servant-hood.  May they also be blessed…and known as the ‘children of God.’ We thank them…each of them…for their ‘Mathew Five Ministry.’  All are welcome to come and join in. 

30 Date Update:

  • January probate activity: four wills probated, one involuntary commitment, two guardianships, one administration, one name change, one final settlement,  three miscellaneous hearings, twelve marriage licenses issued.
  • Citizens with last names beginning with ‘A’ or ‘D’ have five days to renew their tags. If your last name begins with ‘B’ February will be your renewal month.
  • January 8 & 9 – I attended the Alabama Probate Judges Association Winter Conference at Point Clear.
  • January 9 – many county and local officials attended the Red Star Yeast expansion celebration and ribbon cutting at their plant near Newville.
  • January 24 – several county commissioners, staff members and I attended the Association of County Commissioners of Alabama district meeting at Luverne United Methodist Church.
  • January 25 – the Henry County Youth Leadership Program enjoyed its annual ‘Health Day’ with visits to the new Health Center at Wallace College This was followed by tours at Flowers Hospital and ACOM.  While in Dothan, I attended the Executive Committee & Board meetings at SARCOA.


Dates to Remember:

  • January 27 – Wiregrass Forum breakfast in Ozark at 7:30 AM.
  • February 1 – Henry County schools ‘Career Tech Day’ Proclamation signing – 3:30 PM -Probate Court Room.
  • February 2 – tentative date to hold a tri-county public meeting to discuss funding solutions to repair/resurface substandard roads in Henry, Houston and Dale Counties. It is planned for 6:00 at a location yet to be determined.
  • February 8 – our HCYLP students will join Youth Leadership students from other counties for the Youth Leadership luncheon at Ridgecrest Baptist Church in Dothan.  
  • February 20 – George Washington/Thomas Jefferson birthday holiday.


From the Courthouse to your House (Dec 2016)

“The Seasons of Christmas – The Work of Christmas”

by David Money

     Like many of you, Christmas has forever been my favorite time of the year.  This one, like all the ones before it, will be special.  They have not always been prosperous by the world’s standards but God’s grace has always made them magical for me.  Looking back at the many seasons of Christmas in my life, I think of these:  (1956) At age eight, my last Alabama Christmas with my parents before we moved to Florida…two years later my parents would divorce and Daddy would bring my sister and me back to Abbeville.  That was a quiet simple Christmas – just apples, oranges, a few nuts and a flannel shirt  under the tree.  But Santa came…and I was happy.  (1966) I hadn’t planned to go to college until Uncle Lindy paid my tuition and Coach Johnny Oppert recruited me to play on the first ever Wallace College baseball team.  I was at this point living with my grandparents…I remember a Christmas filled with love.  (1976) Karen and I had been married for four years – we had a one year old daughter.  That year we saw Christmas through the eyes of our child.  Karen was the foundation of our spiritual life.   (1986) Life had changed drastically…we now had four children under twelve, I was serving Abbeville as its mayor while trying to keep a struggling Ford dealership afloat.  But by that Christmas, I had finally assumed my role as the spiritual leader of our home.  (1996) We had one at Auburn, two in high school and one in elementary school.  I was working 60 hour weeks as our business began to bounce back.  That was an exciting Christmas.  (2006) We had followed Kristen, Steve and our only grandchild to Headland.  Dave and Scott had their degrees, were still single and were beginning to establish their own careers.  Erin was transferring from Troy to Alabama.  They were scattered but still coming home for Christmas.  (2016)  We now enjoy the blessing of four children who have each married wonderful people and given us eight healthy grandchildren.  They all have families of their own and come home for Christmas in shifts…but at least they come.  And God has blessed me with the best job a man could ever have – serving the county I love (almost as much as I love Christmas.)                   But bright and beautiful December’s are often followed by bland and barren January’s.  I’m struck each year by the empty feeling of knowing that we must wait almost a full year for Christmas to come again.  So what do we do…how do we feel the void?  It is then that ‘The Work of Christmas’ begins.

“Long after the Angels are silent…well after the Shepherds are gone. The Kings have returned to their Kingdoms…and we’re left to ponder alone. Why did Christmas desert us…why do we even exist?  What is our role in The Kingdom?  Maybe our calling is this:

  • To find the lost,
  • To heal the broken,
  • To feed the hungry,
  • To teach the nations,
  • To find and share peace,
  • To bring Christ to all.”

     In this ‘Season of Christmas’ let us be about the ‘Work of Christmas.’  May the Joy and Peace of Christmas be with you throughout the New Year.  Merry Christmas.


30 Day Update:

  • December probate activity: two wills probated, five involuntary commitments, one guardianship/conservatorship, one administration and eight marriages issued.
  • If your last name ends with ‘A’ or ‘D’ January will be your month to renew your tags. Bring your driver’s license, current registration and proof of insurance.
  • 18 – we took our grandchildren to the Wallace College production of ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.’ Broadway quality for much less than the cost of a movie.
  • 30 – a special ‘thank you’ to everyone involved in the Abbeville Christmas program on west lawn of the court house. It was very meaningful and well attended.
  • 3 – attended the SEARP&DC board meeting in Dothan.
  • 7/8 – attended the Association of County Commissions of Alabama’s two day legislative session in Montgomery. This is an effective, extremely well-run organization. 
  • 3 – Newville Christmas parade – we were out of town and were unable to attend.
  • 8 – was honored to emcee the Abbeville Christmas parade.
  • 10 – enjoyed riding in the Headland Christmas parade
  • 13 – Henry County Commission meetings (Happy 197th Birthday, Henry County)
  • 14 – Happy 197th Birthday, State of Alabama
  • 14 – Henry County Youth Leadership Program’s ‘Law and Government Day.’ We had a great day teaching students about law enforcement, the court system and government in general.  Special thanks to Judge Derek Peterson, Sheriff Will Maddox, Sheriff’s Reserve Deputy Larry Hudson, Chief Jailer Lee Padget, Deputy Troy Silva and Jason Owen of the Wallace College Criminal Justice ‘Active Shooter’ simulator…we had a great day. 


Dates to Remember:

  • 23 – the court house will close for Christmas at 1:00 PM on Friday, December 23rd and will re-open at 8:00 AM on Tuesday, December 27th.
  • 25 – Merry Christmas
  • 1 – Happy New Year
  • 2 – the Henry County Court House will be closed today for the New Year holiday.
  • 3 – January Administrative meeting – 9:00 AM – Probate Court Room
  • 3 – January Commission meeting – 10:30 AM – Probate Court Room
  • 8/9 – Alabama Probate Judges Association Winter conference at Point Clear
  • 10 – Lasaffre Red Star Yeast Ribbon Cutting/Expansion Celebration – Headland plant
  • 12 – Chris Padget to be sworn in as Henry County School Superintendent – 5:00 PM
  • 16 – Martin Luther King holiday
  • 20 – Presidential Inauguration Day
  • 23 – Henry County Commission work session – 9:00 AM
  • 24 – ACCA District Commission meeting – Luverne United Methodist Church
  • 25 – HCYLP ‘Healthcare Day’


From the Courthouse to your House (Nov2016)

“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