Houston County Circuit Clerk's Office

Houston County courthouse officials are still trying to save employees who are threatened by state layoffs.

Houston County commissioners agreed to help save one of those jobs, but more help will be needed to save the rest.

State court officials announced last month the elimination of nine positions in the Houston County circuit clerk's office by the end of November. The news prompted four employees to retire and another to quit before being laid-off.

Presiding Judge Larry Anderson and Circuit Clerk Judy Byrd asked county commissioners to help save the four jobs still on the chopping block. Judge Anderson says $60,000 would keep the workers on board for another six months and give state lawmakers time to solve the financial crisis. He asked county commissioners to put up one third of the money.

Commission Chairman Mark Culver says he wants to help but he doesn't want to get into the habit of bailing out the state.

County commissioners agreed to give up proceeds from a new deferred prosecution program that generates about $1,000 a month. The clerk's office gets the same amount from the program, and the combined funds will be just about enough to save one job.

Judge Anderson says at least it’s a start. He plans to make the same appeal for assistance to Dothan city commissioners.