Commission chair sees progress, challenges
The Wilcox County Commission is made up of six total county commissioners, representing different districts. Bill Albritton has been on the commission for nine years, serving as chairman for four years.
Albritton lived in Camden his entire life except for his years as a student at Auburn University. After finishing school, Albritton returned to Camden and began his small business, Albritton’s Florist and Gifts.
Small town politics run in Albritton’s blood. His great-grandfather and grandfather both served as probate judge, his uncle served as probate judge and sheriff, and his father served as probate judge, sheriff, and as a mayor of Camden.
Albritton served on the Camden City Council before someone recommended he run for the Wilcox County Commission.
The County Commission is the governing body for the county. They typically handle duties such as county highway management, waste removal, and personnel issues. Currently, there are six members who run every four years representing six districts on the Commission, with Albritton as the current chairman.
According to Albritton, being a county commissioner is no easy job. Though the job is part-time, it is a demanding role. He said limitations on what can be done come from funding. “Everything we do to raise taxes has to go to a public vote,” he added.
Wilcox County’s population is among the lowest in the state. This creates unique challenges for the county because of a relatively small tax base. “You’ve got to decide what’s really important,” Albritton said.
In the past, the Commission struggled through various financial challenges, but Albritton is happy that issues have been resolved. Now, he said, the Commission members have a good working relationship, and the governing body is “in a much better place than before.” He added, “We’ve worked to get things organized. Wages were all over the place, so we worked for a year to get people compensated decently.”
Albritton noted, “It’s a shared responsibility. I feel like we’re moving in the right direction. Nobody has singular control over everything. We have to vote. There’s not supposed to be a way for any one commissioner to control everything.”
He added, “We stay abreast of what needs to be done in our district, but it takes the Commission as a whole to approve a project.”
Although Albritton admits there are positives and negatives in local politics, he said he enjoys his role overall as he still learns something new every day. Noting that he is particularly proud to serve his home county, Albritton said, “It’s amazing that everywhere you go, there’s a Camden or Wilcox County connection.”
By Ashby Henry
Last Updated: August 08, 2022