Madison County commissioners, staff member recognizedPublished 12:07pm Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Two commissioners from Madison County, Mike Gillespie and Phil Riddick, have distinguished themselves among their peers in county government statewide.
The Association of County Commissions of Alabama honored County Commission Chairman Mike Gillespie for his 32 years of service to county government and the state of Alabama.
“Chairman Gillespie deserves the thanks of all Alabamians for his dedication to public service and his personal sacrifice,” said ACCA President Ricky Harcrow. “Considering the extraordinary challenges county commissioners face every day, he has continually served his constituents with honor and pride, and he deserves a pat on the back from everyone in Madison County!”
ACCA presents the Tenure in Office Award annually to honor commissioners who have served at least 16 years in office. The award is given for four-year increments thereafter.
Chairman Gillespie was also re-elected to the board of directors of the Association of County Commissions of Alabama, a statewide association representing Alabama’s county governments.
“We are excited about Mike’s leadership abilities and his dedication to strengthening county government in Alabama, and we believe he is an excellent member of the Association’s board of directors,” said Harcrow. “County government in Alabama is undergoing tremendous changes, and our board members must provide the leadership necessary to help our counties face these changes on the local level.”
Commissioner Phil Riddick has been elected to serve as a member of the Association of County Commissions of Alabama’s Legislative Committee.
The Association’s Legislative Committee is composed of a chairman, the Association’s past presidents still serving in county government, and a representative from each of ACCA’s 12 districts. The Legislative Committee works in concert with six steering committees to formulate the association’s legislative agenda for the upcoming year.
“Counties are a creation of the state, which means they can only do what the state authorizes them to do,” said ACCA Executive Director Sonny Brasfield. “Counties have an incredibly close working relationship with the Legislature for this reason, and serving on this committee is a huge responsibility.”
Gillespie and Riddick represent ACCA’s District 2, which includes Limestone and Madison counties.
Commissioner Riddick also recently joined an elite group of county officials by completing 50 hours of training from the Alabama Local Government Training Institute on the basic responsibilities of the county commission.
The program emphasizes budgeting, personnel matters, planning, and road and bridge responsibilities. This educational program began in 1994 as a mandatory program for first-time county commissioners by act of the Alabama Legislature. It is a joint effort between ACCA and Auburn University, and classes are supervised by the ALGTI board of directors, composed of county officials, educators and members of the Alabama Legislature.
“Continuing education for our county officials will always remain one of the Association’s priorities for our membership,” said Brasfield. “As with any organization, the sharing of new ideas and information is the best way to grow and prosper. The involvement of county employees and officials only enhances our efforts to improve county government and the services it provides at the local level.”
Betty Peterson, director of the Madison County Sales Tax Department, was honored with the County Revenue Officer of the Year award from the County Revenue Officers Association of Alabama.
Over the past year, Peterson served faithfully as a county representative on the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Commission. She earned a master’s degree in business administration and holds the certified county revenue officer designation. She also serves as board chairman for the Alabama Local Tax Institute of Standards and Training. Peterson has 22 years of experience with Madison County.
The County Revenue Officers Association of Alabama exists to promote the proficiency and professionalism of county revenue officers who oversee collection of a variety of local taxes ranging from sales taxes to lodging taxes to license fees. The association organizes professional development opportunities and provides a unified voice in Montgomery on legislative issues. It is an affiliate of the ACCA.
The ACCA is a statewide organization representing county government in Alabama. ACCA promotes improved county government services in Alabama, offers educational programs for county officials and their staff members, administers insurance programs for county governments and employees, offers legal advice, and represents the interests of county government before state and federal organizations and agencies. The activities of the association are governed by a board of directors composed of three officers, past presidents and representatives elected from 12 Alabama districts.