By Fred Woods
When a peace officer goes to work they never know what they will encounter. One day last June, Lee County Sheriff’s Deputy Ray Smith encountered a woman with a loaded gun to her head threatening to take her own life. According to Sheriff Jay Jones, Smith engaged the woman in conversation lasting more than an hour, talking about her life and the teachings of the Bible; all the time the woman was holding the loaded pistol in her hand. Ultimately, Smith convinced the woman to lay down the weapon and surrender to authorities, thus probably saving her life. For Smith’s actions, he was selected LCSO employee of the quarter and recognized before the Lee County Commission and a number of his family and fellow deputies at this week’s commission meeting.
Several meetings ago, on a motion by Commissioner Harris the commission had voted to reactivate the Lee County Industrial Authority which has been inactive for several years.
The role of the authority was discussed this week and concerns were expressed by several commissioners lest the county IDA compete or interfere with the activities of Auburn’s or Opelika’s very excellent Industrial Development Boards.
While all IDA members’ terms have expired, they continue to serve until their successors are named. Each of the five commissioners appoints a member; they were asked to come with their nominees for the next meeting. Expressions of interest in serving on the IDA were received from Joe Lovvorn and Dr. Shirley Scott-Harris.
Commissioner Harris once again complained of county road conditions, this time the unpaved Lee Road 57 in Loachapoka.
County commissioners voted, in 2010, to not pave any more dirt roads until additional resources were available because, with existing resources the county cannot maintain the roads already paved.
In other action, commissioners
· Approved extension of a cable television agreement with Phenix City Cable T.V. (Roy M. Greene) to operate a cable television service in Lee County,
· Approved a remote computer backup services agreement for the Revenue Commissioner’s office,
·Approved a no-cost lease agreement with the City of Opelika for recycling trailers which will save the county $16,000 a year,
·Approved several liquor licenses of various types, and
· Approved an advertisement for the December, 2015, issue of “Business Alabama” which will “spotlight” Lee and Russell counties.