JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — Last week the board of the Central Alabama Partnership for Training and Employment met for the final time with the dustup centering on how tax dollars were being used.
Chilton County Commissioner and board member Allen Williams led the charge to disband the group, citing the results of a fiscal review that showed excessive staff costs, misuse of program funds and overage of administrative cost by Jefferson County.
CBS 42 reached out to the Jefferson County Commission for reaction and was emailed two responses. The first from Tammy Wilkinson from the state of Alabama’s Workforce Development Division.
In an email sent to Daren Lanier of the Jefferson County commission, Wilkinson informed Lanier “I am pleased to let you know that after receiving the responses from CAPTE staff and several meetings all the fiscal issues have been resolved.”
And a statement from Jefferson County manager Cal Markert went further in explaining what went wrong.
“The Jefferson County Commission is/was aware of this report and worked to resolve these questions with the state. Please see the attached letter from Tammy Wilkinson dated January 11, 2023, stating that all issues have been resolved. The original CAPTE program was funded by approximately $6-7 million in grant funds. The state then reduced that to $3 million resulting in the program being overstaffed. Jefferson County worked with the state to evaluate the program, and requested to be removed as a program manager. That request was approved effective in January of this year. Managing this program cost Jefferson County more than $250,000 annually in staff salaries that was not covered by the Department of Commerce grant.”
Markert’s statement reads in part:
“Jefferson County was and is aware of the report and worked to resolve the questions with the state.”
And goes on to say…
“The original CAPTE program was funded by 6-7 million in funds but was reduced to 3 million resulting in the program being overstaffed.”
Williams is not satisfied.
“I don’t understand that the staffing is provided by the Jefferson County Commission,” he said. “So, it would look to me like, whatever caused the funding to be cut, you cut where it’s necessary. You would have cut staffing.”
Williams said the misused funds that were spent due to overstaffing need to be refunded, which he said was a driving force behind the breakup in the first place.
“That’s the reason Chilton County, represented by me, Shelby County and the other counties we wanted out before it came down on us to have to pay back money for a Jefferson County mistake,” he said.
Williams said the election of a new board and exactly what it will look like are still in development.