Commissioners weigh in on recent decisions made by Jefferson Cou - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Commissioners weigh in on recent decisions made by Jefferson County Receiver

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Jefferson County Commissioner George Bowman. (abc3340.com) Jefferson County Commissioner George Bowman. (abc3340.com)
 It's hard to fight the courts. Maybe that's why Jefferson County Commissioners have been hands off when it comes to court-appointed receiver Ronald Sims. Six months ago a federal judge appointed Sims to go in and make certain the county's human resources department is in compliance with a court ordered decree.

Commissioners Jimmie Stephens and George Bowman say they stand with the receiver in assuring the county's employment practices are non- discriminatory. Bowman does not believe Sims has overstepped his bounds in other areas of the county's business. Stephens though, says he's starting to wonder if Sims' decisions now are overreaching.

"We stand with him and want to rectify the past wrongs. But we have to have the ability, we must maintain to operate our county," said Stephens.

Stephens says he would like to have a sit-down meeting with county receiver Ronald Sims. Just this week, Sims appointed an interim director of Cooper Green Mercy Health Services, after expressing his disappointment with the medical center's operations. It's a decision that has left Commissioner Stephens scratching his head, and wondering if Sims has reached beyond his scope of power.

"Some of the recent actions that we've seen, perhaps he has over stepped his bounds on occasion," said Stephens.

Last month Sims put himself in charge of all contracts coming through the county. Again, Stephens wonders if that was wise decision.

"It has slowed down our governmental process and it affects the quality of life for our citizens," he said.

Down the hall, Commissioner George Bowman admits he has questions of his own concerning the appointment of a interim director at Cooper Green. But he wouldn't call the decision overreaching.

"I don't question the receiver. I don't question the judge. The judge put the receiver here for a specific purpose. And he's given the receiver broad powers to do this," said Bowman.

Neither commissioner has met with Sims. Both say they would welcome an opportunity to do so.

"I look forward to meeting with him. I look forward to have a conversation with him on many of these issues," said Bowman.

Stephens says he would like to meet with Sims to understand the reasoning behind what he's doing.

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