Hoover Mayor Tony Petelos said Tuesday that he is interested in becoming Jefferson County’s first manager. The 11-year former state representative is seeking an interview with the County Commission, he announced at a press conference.
“I have reservations myself leaving one of the best gigs in town … to a very, very difficult situation,” he said, citing the county’s lack of funding due to loss of an occupational tax and related problems, including the 500 county employees that have been laid off and jail overcrowding that is the focus of a federal lawsuit filed by inmates last week.
Petelos also mentioned the county’s potential for filing for bankruptcy and settlement talks with creditors holding $3.14 billion of sewer warrants.
“I think that being someone from Jefferson County and having all the legislative experience and having experience working with all the mayors in the Jefferson County Mayor’s Association, that I’ll be able to work as a team with our county commissioners [and] employees to make Jefferson County the county it can be,” he said of his qualifications for the $240,000-a-year job.
Hoover is about 11 miles south of Birmingham in Jefferson County. It is the sixth-largest city in the state.
Earlier this year, three candidates recruited by a national search firm withdrew from the job search. In 2009, the Legislature passed a bill mandating that the county hire a manager to help the commission resolve its financial problems.