County Commission make-up now legal

Shelby County’s nine-member commission will stand, according to county attorney Frank C. &uot;Butch&uot; Ellis.

A bill making the nine-member county commission legal was signed into law recently by Gov. Bob Riley.

The bill was presented to the governor at the end of the regular session of the Legislature, having passed both the House and the Senate.

Ellis first warned the County Commissioners of impending trouble last September, indicating a judge’s ruling that a similar situation in Baldwin County was unlawful.

The Baldwin County Commission was ordered by the judge to disband, and the county was forced back to a four-member commission with the probate judge at the helm.

That was the same situation Shelby County was facing, Ellis told the commission at the time.

To keep that from occurring, the commission worked with the Legislative Delegation to create a bill making the nine-member commission in Shelby County legal.

Ellis said the commission would continue its work to redistrict Shelby County.

In fact, the Department of Developmental Services, formerly the Planning Department, has been working to create several versions of a re-districted Shelby County, &uot;keeping in mind the one man, one vote rule,&uot; he said.

When a redistricting plan is finally chosen, the plan will be submitted to the U.S. Justice Department for approval