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Interviews for both City Manager and County Administrator

Rickey Stokes

Viewed: 3646

Posted by: RStokes
Date: Nov 01 2018 5:51 PM

DOTHAN - HOUSTON COUNTY:      This week both the Dothan City Commission and the Houston County Commission conducted interviews for top positions.

Both Dothan City Manager Mike West and Houston County Administrator Bill Dempsey have announced their retirement plans.

Both commissions have done an excellent job of remaining silent about the process and candidates.

But both Dothan City Commissioners conducted interviews of potential candidates today and tomorrow. The position of City Manager is somewhat more authoritative than that of the County Administrator.


Few people realize, under the Dothan form of government, the Mayor and Dothan Commissioners are not allowed to talk to a Dothan Department Head without prior approval of the City Manager. The Mayor and Commissioners only set policy and the only person of which they have direct control over is that of the City Manager. All other employees and Department Heads, with exception of Personnel Director work for the City Manager.

The Personnel Director is hired and fired by the 5 member Dothan Personnel Board Members. He does not answer to the City Manager or the Mayor or Dothan  Commissioners. 

Even at a Dothan Commission Meeting, the Mayor and Commissioners must ask the City Manager for permission to ask a department head a question in the meeting.

The Mayor and Commission can not tell the City Manager who to hire for a position. But the hire has to be approved by the Mayor and Commissioner after the person is recommended by the City Manager.

The City Manager is always two weeks away from being fired and a special meeting can be called within those two weeks. That is provided there is a commissioner with backbone.


The position of Houston County Commission Chairman is a full time job. The Chairman manages the operations of the county. But the county commission do not have control over very many who work for Houston County.

The Houston County Courthouse; only the custodians in the Houston County Courthouse answer to the Houston County Commission. No other employee who work in the Houston County Courthouse falls under any control of the Houston County Commission Chairman, Commissioners or County Administrator. All Judges, Judicial Assistants and Court Reporters work for the Judge and the State of Alabama. All clerks work for the Circuit Clerk, Carla Woodall. All Judges and Circuit Clerk Carla Woodall are elected.

The Houston County Administrative Tower: the first two floors, all employees with for the Houston County Probate Judge, who is elected. So no one on the first and second floor of the Administrative Tower. The third floor of the Administrative Tower is Information Technology and they work for the Houston County Commission. The fourth floor is rented out. The fifth floor is Revenue Commissioner, which is elected. So all employees work for the Revenue Commissioner.

The Houston County Road and Bridge, Sanitation and County Engineer work directly for the Chairmand and County Commission. The Farm Center, Building Maintenance all work for the Administrator and Commission. Dothan-Houston County Emergency Management work directly under the supervision of the Houston County Commission Chairman.

The Houston County Sheriff Department work for the Sheriff as does the jail and Sheriff 911 Center.

So a vast difference in the authority of the two positions and responsibilities.


The citizens of Dothan and Houston County will know at the right time, I guess. 

The Houston County Administrator position does not have the impact on the business and citizens like the position of City Manager. 

The position of City Manager affects the quality of life, the business community, the growth and the customer service of which the citizens of Dothan get. The City Manager decides who will be in positions of leadership. And when the Mayor and Commissioners do not want to do things, their response is " let me talk to the City Manager", and the lay the blame on the City Manager. But if there is credit, they take the credit.

Do not know the candidates. Sure they will not hire anyone from Dothan or Houston County. Because as history has shown, they are under the misguided thoughts no one from Dothan-Houston County are smart enough to be a leader.

Both decisions should be made in November or the first of December.

Interviews for both City Manager and County Administrator

Interviews for both City Manager and County Administrator

First Funeral

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