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Jefferson County Department Heads Bring Diversity, Wealth of Experience

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Theo Lawson, Jefferson County attorney, and Shawnna Smith, deputy county attorney, pose in Birmingham, Ala., Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018. (Photo by Mark Almond)
Times staff report

These are a few departments that reflect the growing diversity in Jefferson County’s government.

Tony Petelos, Jefferson County manager (left) and Walter Jackson, chief deputy county manager, talk before a pre-commission committee meeting in Birmingham, Ala., Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018. (Photo by Mark Almond)

Department: County Manager

Leadership: County Manager Tony Petelos, Chief Deputy County Manager Walter Jackson

Time with Jefferson County: Petelos, 6 years; Jackson, 7 years

About the Department: The mission of the County Manager’s Office is to manage and coordinate county government operations and other activities—as specified by federal, state, and local law, and as directed by the Jefferson County Commission—to provide innovative, effective, and fiscally responsible services to citizens. The County Manager’s Office is responsible for the operation of 13 vastly different departments that represent more than 1,600 merit system employees who provide services to the public and support internal operations.

Armika Berkley, Cooper Green Mercy Health Services director (right) and Taylor Krueger, deputy director, in Birmingham, Ala., Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018. (Photo by Mark Almond)

Department: Cooper Green Mercy Health Services

Leadership: Director Armika Berkley, Deputy Director Taylor Krueger

Time with Jefferson County: Berkley, 5 months; Krueger, 5 months

About the Department: Cooper Green Mercy Health Services is a multispecialty outpatient health center that provides care to 20,000-plus people annually. Currently offering more than 19 specialty health-care services, Cooper Green has been committed to managing the complete health-care needs of patients across Jefferson County since the founding of the Jefferson County Hospital in 1972. The fundamental purpose and mission of Cooper Green Mercy Health Services is to provide high-quality health care to low-income citizens of Jefferson County regardless of their ability to pay.

Theo Lawson, Jefferson County attorney and Shawnna Smith, deputy county attorney, in Birmingham, Ala., Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018. (Photo by Mark Almond)

Department: County Attorney’s Office

Leadership: County Attorney Theo Lawson, Deputy County Attorney Shawnna Smith

Time with Jefferson County: Lawson, 14 years; Smith, 9 years

About the Department: The County Attorney’s Office provides legal representation to Jefferson County, and team members serve as legal advisors to the county commission, county manager, and various county departments and agencies.

Trisha Hill Wilkins and Jeff Smith, Jefferson County general services administrators, in Birmingham, Ala., Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018. (Photo by Mark Almond)

Department: General Services

Leadership: Director Jeff Smith, Deputy Director Trisha Hill Wilkins

Time with Jefferson County: Smith, 15 years; Wilkins, 8 months

About the Department: The General Services department provides comprehensive, professional, full-service management of Jefferson County’s commercial real estate assets. Its main objective is to maintain each property to the highest quality standards to achieve the greatest operating efficiencies in order to deliver a safe, functional, and desirable work environment for employees, occupants, and citizens of Jefferson County.

Travis Hulsey, Jefferson County revenue director (right), and Darren Lanier, chief deputy director, in Birmingham, Ala., Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018. (Photo by Mark Almond)

Department: Revenue

Leadership: Director Travis Hulsey, Chief Deputy Director Darren Lanier

Time with Jefferson County: Hulsey, 26 years; Lanier, 22 years

About the Department: The Revenue department administers and enforces applicable federal, state, county, and local municipal statutes, ordinances, and regulations, while providing essential services to all Jefferson County citizens in a professional, courteous, and expeditious manner. Among the department’s responsibilities: collecting and/or distributing motor vehicle taxes; motor vehicle registration fees; hunting and fishing license fees; privilege (business) licenses; and sales and education sales taxes on behalf of the state of Alabama and Jefferson County Commission, as well as Jefferson County municipalities, school districts, and governmental agencies.