The Jefferson County Commission will interview three finalists for the new job as county manager next week.

The Alabama Legislature in 2009 passed a bill ordering the county to create the position as commissioners dealt with a financial crisis created by the loss of an occupational tax. The levy provided a major source of funding for the general fund, as well as backing nearly $3.2 billion of failed variable- and auction-rate sewer debt that has not been restructured in three years. The same circumstances exist today.

The candidates for county manager include Harry Jones, who is the current manager for Mecklenburg County, N.C., and Patrick Thompson, the former administrator for Hamilton County, Ohio. A third finalist’s name was not released because he had yet to notify his bosses that he had interviewed for the position, according to published reports.

Thompson, who had been Hamilton County administrator for five years, lost his job in January when his contract was not renewed, the Birmingham Business Journal said.

Jefferson County expects to pay the new manager $240,000 a year. A four-fifths vote of the commission will be required to complete the hiring process.

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