Pankey to take on solid waste department

Pankey

The Lawrence County Commission appointed District 3 Commissioner Kyle Pankey as solid waste director in its regular meeting Friday.

Lawrence County Engineer Winston Sitton, who was appointed as interim director of solid waste last July, had temporarily taken on the duties following the retirement of former Director Willie Allen. 

The Commission reexamined Sitton’s appointment on Friday because his additional duties were in violation of a local law enacted in 1979, which states that the county engineer “shall devote his or her time and attention to the maintenance and construction of the Lawrence County public roads, highways, bridges and ferries.”

District 4 Commissioner Bobby Burch said the Commission attempted to have a public works law passed to amend the legislation, but the bill was never considered before the state legislative session ended. 

“We want to be compliant with the law,” Burch said. “In 1979, there was a reason for it to be passed. Whatever reason it was, it doesn’t fit us now.” He added that commissioners will attempt to advertise a bill for an amended law again in January. 

Following an hour-long executive session during the Commission’s Friday meeting, Pankey was granted authority over the employees of the solid waste department, and Angela Baldwin was reappointed as operations manager. 

Pankey, whose duties became effective immediately, said he will not receive additional money for the duties he is taking on, and Baldwin will conduct the department’s day-to-day business. 

In other business, the Commission approved an Inmate Worker Program’s policies and procedures. Lawrence County Sheriff Max Sanders said inmates who participate in the program will pick up litter along county roads after a two-hour training session is completed. Sanders was also granted authority to hire an additional jailer for the Lawrence County Jail.

The Commission also voted to transfer $400,000 to be transferred to the general fund. County Administrator Heather Dyar said transfers were anticipated when the budget for fiscal 2019 was passed.

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