399 Days Left On Houston County Commission Chairman Mark Culver TenureRickey Stokes
Posted by: RStokes
Date: Oct 12 2021 12:28 PM
HOUSTON COUNTY: Not that he is counting down, but today is mark that there are 399 days left on the Houston County Commission Chairman Mark Culver’s last four years as Chairman.
Mark Culver was the first “elected” Republican to the Houston County Commissioner. His tenure began as a Commissioner of District Four in 1986 ( taking office in 1987. )
In 1997 then Robert Crowder, Chairman of the Houston County Commission, resigned to take over as Director of SARCOA ( Southeast Alabama Regional Council on Aging ). Former Chairman Robert Crowder had served and was currently serving as Mayor of Taylor when he was elected as Chairman of the Houston County Commission in 1986 ( taking office in 1987 ).
On the resignation of Robert Crowder, then Alabama Governor Fob James appointed Mark Culver as Chairman of the Houston County Commissioner and Phil Forrester as Commissioner of District Four to replace Mark Culver.
Since 1997 Mark Culver has served as Chairman of the Houston County Commissioner. He has been a key component in the political world in Dothan-Houston County and areas of the State of Alabama.
He is known on the local and state level very well. He has served as President of the Alabama Association of County Commissioners.
The election for all seats on the Houston County Commission, and Chairman of the Houston County Commission will be next year, 2022. Two sitting Houston County Commissioners, D-2 Doug Sinquefield and D-4 Brandon Shoupe have announced they are candidates for Houston County Commission Chairman.
With their announcement of seeking election as Chairman, that means for sure Houston County will have new commissioners in District Two and District Four.
All seats on the commission are up for re-election. The current commissioner in D-1, Curtis Harvey and in D-3, Ricky Herring, while they have not announced their intentions to seek re-election, it is expected they will.
Some have already announced intentions to seek election in Districts 2 and 4.
The Chairman of the Houston County Commission is a full time job. Several department heads report to the Chairman. Houston County has an Administrator. That position is more guardian over money and not day to day management of department heads.
The Chairman of the County Commission can not make a motion on items on the agenda, and can only vote in the event of a tie. The Chairman manages days to day activities of the county, but he nor the commission has authority over many departments. The county commission has to go through the Alabama Legislature to pass laws where municipalities have authority to pass ordinances and raise taxes, while the county has to go to the Alabama Legislature.
HOUSTON COUNTY COURTHOUSE
HOUSTON COUNTY ADMINISTRATIVE BUILDING
The county is a different creature compared to the City of Dothan. Everyone who works for the City of Dothan works under the City Manager, who then is appointed by the Mayor and Commissioners.
At the county level very few departments does the county commission have control over. While they control the money they do not control the operations.
At the Houston County Courthouse, the commission controls what offices people have. But the only two people who work in the Houston County Courthouse the Commission has control over are the two custodians. The Judges are elected and they pick their court reporters and judicial assistants, the Circuit Clerk is elected and controls the staff, as does the District Attorney. The Juvenile Probation Offices are under control of the State of Alabama and not locally. While the Judges, Circuit Clerk and District Attorney are elected some only by the registered voters in all of Houston County and some by the all of the registered voters in Houston and Henry County. All of these officials, while elected locally are funded by the State of Alabama and not the Houston County Commission.
The Sheriff is elected by the registered voters of all of Houston County. All of the funding to operate the Sheriff Department and Houston County Jail comes from the Houston County Commission. The Sheriff is a member of the Executive Branch of government, but does not receive funding from the State of Alabama to operate the Sheriff Department. The Houston County Commissioners have no management control, other than money, of the Sheriff Department. All deputies work strictly at the pleasure of the Sheriff and are not covered by civil service. The Sheriff can terminate the Deputies for whatever reason he desires.
The Houston County Administrative Building. As you enter the Deputies guarding the door are under control of the Sheriff.
Floors one and two are under control of the Houston County Probate Judge. The county commission funds the money but has zero control over anything that goes on in the Probate Office.
Floor three is Information Technology. This floor is under the command and control of the Houston County Commission and Chairman Culver along with the Administrator are responsible for the successful operation.
Floor four is leased out to the Southeast Alabama Regional Planning.
Floor five is the Houston County Revenue Commissioner. This floor is where you pay your property taxes. The Revenue Commissioner is elected by the registered voters of all Houston County. The funding for the operation of the Revenue Office comes from Houston County Commission but there is zero authority of the commission over the Revenue Office.
The sixth floor is the accounting and Houston County Commission Offices. While the Chairman is the overall supervisor, the Administrator is the day to day management of accounting.
The Houston County Commission appoints the Houston County Engineer, Emergency Management Director. Both of these positions reports to the Chairman of the Houston County Commission and to him only.
The Houston County Commission hires the Farm Center Manager and the person who manages the property of the county.
The Chairman of the County Commission also meets with board and works on Economic recruitment trying to grow all of Houston County. He also works with the Alabama Legislature and Alabama Association of County Commissioners to monitor activities of the Alabama Legislature. A lot of what they do affects the county.
All of the above is from memory so I might have left some appointments out. But this is a basic outline of the County operations.
A commissioner is not over as much as a municipal commissioner.
The Chairman makes around $ 81,000.00 a year. In the past has been furnished a vehicle.
A Commissioner makes $ 33,000.00 a year plus $ 250.00 a month auto allowance which is $ 3,000.00 a year.
Both the Chairman and County Commissioners are members of Retirement Systems of Alabama and have health insurance benefits. And ten years in Retirement Systems of Alabama you are vested and can draw some retirement.
1971 - 1974. A.A. MIDDLETON
1975 - 1978. NATHAN MATHIS
1979 - 1986. CHARLES WHIDDON
1987 - 1997. ROBERT CROWDER
1997 - CURRENT. MARK CULVER