Proposal to rename jail in honor of Sheriff Hobbs

Lazaro Aleman
ECB Publishing, Inc.

A proposal is afoot to rename the Jefferson County Jail after the late Sheriff David Hobbs.
Sheriff Mac McNeill broached the idea to the Jefferson County Commission on Thursday evening, Nov. 1.
McNeill noted that the present lettering on the jail was old and in need of replacing. He said the idea was to redo the lettering and in the process change the name to honor Hobbs, who had provided 30 years of public service to the community. Hobbs, a popular four-term sheriff, died of complications from cancer in November 2017 at age 59.
“We think it's an honor due him,” McNeill said, adding it would cost about $3,500 to accomplish the re-lettering and name change.
Commissioners were amenable to the idea. Before they could take action, however, County Attorney Buck Bird reminded them that existing policy dictated how they should proceed with the renaming.
“You have a public property naming policy that you adopted in 2013,” Bird said. “You have to follow the practice and procedures that you set in place in your policy.”
Per the policy, according to County Coordinator Parrish Barwick, the commission must appoint a standing committee whose task it will be to hear all public property naming requests and present a recommendation to the commission.
“Since 2013, that committee has not been set up to date,” Barwick pointed out.
The way it was left, commissioners agreed to appoint a committee at the Nov. 15 meeting, with each commissioner to select a member and Barwick to serve as the sixth member.
Another proposal a couple of months ago called for the renaming of US 19 in honor of Hobbs. So far, however, nothing more has been said about the latter proposal. Possibly it's because renaming a state highway requires legislative action, and the Legislature won't meet again until next year.