Mobile County, Alabama

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Mobile County is a county in Alabama. Its county seat is Mobile.

Website evaluation

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Budget Y
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Meetings P
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Elected Officials Y
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Administrative Officials Y
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Permits, zoning Y
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Audits Y
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Contracts P
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Lobbying N
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Public records N
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Local taxes Y
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Transparency grading process

Last rated on October 1, 2012.

The good

  • Budget
    • Current and past budgets are posted.[1].
  • Audits
    • Current and archived audits are posted.[1]
  • Meetings
    • Current and archived agendas are posted.[2]
    • Archived meeting minutes are posted.[2]
  • Elected officials
    • The County Commissioners' names and contact details are listed.[3]
  • Administrative officials
    • Administrative contacts are listed.[4][5]
  • Permits and zoning
    • Building permit information and forms are posted.[6]
  • Taxes
    • There is a database of all the property taxes. Property taxes can be paid online[7]
    • Revenues are listed in budget documents.[1]
  • Contracts
    • Open bids are posted.[8]

The bad

  • Meetings
    • Minutes are not up to date.
  • Permits and zoning
    • Zoning details are not posted.
  • Contracts
    • Awarded contracts are not posted.
  • Public records
    • Public records policies are not posted.
    • A public records official is not listed with contact information.
  • Lobbying
    • Information is not provided on taxpayer funded lobbying.

Alabama Register Op-ed

Alabama Press Register wrote about how Alabama received some of the lowest transparency grades in the country, especially noting Baldwin County and Mobile County.[9]

Government

Elected Officials

Mobile County is governed by a three-member county commission. Each commissioner represents a district and is elected by the voters of that district to serve a four-year term. Each commissioner has an equal vote on the commission. One of the commissioners is selected as Commission President.

Member Title District
Merceria L. Ludgood Commissioner District 1
Connie Hudson Commissioner District 2
Mike Dean Commissioner District 3
No information on salaries or pensions is available.

Administrative Officials

Official Title
John Pafenbach Administrator
Glenn L. Hodge Deputy Administrator
Michelle Herman Finance Director
Nancy Johnson Public Affairs/Community Services Director
Bill Smith Director of Support Services
Donna Jones Director of General Services
Tom Barclay Highway Traffic Safety Coordinator
No information on salaries or pensions is available.

State

Mobile County is represented in the Alabama Legislature by three senators and nine representatives. It is represented in the Alabama Senate by Democrat Vivian Davis Figures from the 33rd District, by Republican Rusty Glover from the 34th District, and by Republican Ben Brooks from the 35th District.[10] It is represented in the Alabama House of Representatives by Democrat Yvonne Kennedy from the 97th District, Democrat James O. Gordon from the 98th District, Democrat James Buskey from the 99th District, Republican Victor Gaston from the 100th District, Republican Jamie Ison from the 101st District, Republican Chad Fincher from the 102nd District, Democrat Joseph C. Mitchell from the 103rd District, Republican Jim Barton from the 104th District, and Republican Spencer Collier from the 105th District.[11]

Budget & Spending

Expenditures have decreased steadily over the past three years. Yearly budgets also frequently maintain a surplus of between roughly 7% and 9% of the anticipated revenues. Budget surpluses are carried over to the following year[1]. The county receives the majority of its revenue from property taxes and county services fees. The top categories of expenditures for 2011 are "Law and Order" (30.3%), "Road and Bridge" (17.5%), and "General Government" (9.9%). The "Debt Service" category is composed of 9.3% of total expenditures and is utilized in paying previous bonds issued by the county[12]. A number of property owners recently saw a decrease in their tax bill following a widespread reappraisal[13].

The County offers a medication savings program known as the Prescription Drug Discount Program. The program is provided through a partnership with Financial Marketing Concepts Inc. at no cost to the county. County residents are reported to have saved $540,485 in the last half of 2010[14].

Mobile County continues to receive federal funds in relation to Hurricane Katrina clean-up. The County has received a total of $700,000 from two different federal aid awards. Since 2005, Mobile County Commission has dispensed a total of $22 million to repair damage caused by Hurricane Katrina[15].

Recently, the county approved a $15,000 donation to the Mobile Area Mardi Gras Association, who started receiving donations from the county in 2007.[16]

Lobbying

Since 2008, Mobile County reported $120,000 spent on lobbying every year to the firm Van Scoyoc Associates[17].

Emergency Services

Mobile County has an Emergency Management Agency designated to respond in the event of any hazard[18].

External links

References

Portions of this article were taken from Wikipedia on Feb. 21, 2011.