Lee County, Alabama

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Lee County is a county of the U.S. state of Alabama. It is named in honor of Robert E. Lee, commanding general of the Confederate Army. As of 2009 the population was 135,883. It is part of the Auburn, Alabama Metropolitan Area. The county seat is Opelika, and the largest city is Auburn. There are a total of seven incorporated cities and towns in Lee County, four of which lie entirely within the county.

Contents

History

Lee County was established by act of the Alabama state legislature on December 5, 1866, out of parts of Macon, Tallapoosa, Chambers, and Russell Counties. In an election to determine the county seat, Opelika was chosen over Auburn and Salem.

In 1923, the town of Phenix City, located in the southeastern corner of Lee County, merged with the town of Girard, located in the northeastern corner of Russell County. To prevent the new town of Phenix City from straddling the Lee-Russell line, Lee County ceded to Russell County the 10 square miles (26 km²) in the southeastern corner surrounding Phenix City in exchange for 20 square miles (52 km²) in the northwest corner of Russell County surrounding the unincorporated community of Marvyn. This new territory is what forms the southern "panhandle" of Lee County.

Politics and government

Among the principal governmental functions vested in Alabama counties are law enforcement; tax assessment, levy and collection; administration of decedent's estates and probate matters; maintenance of real and personal property title records; construction and maintenance of public roads and bridges; and maintenance of the county courthouse, which provides office space for various county officials and departments.

Lee County is governed by a six-member County Commission, composed of a Chairman and five Commissioners. The Probate Judge, who serves as Chairman of the County Commission, is elected countywide for a six-year term. The other five members of the County Commission are elected from single-member districts for four-year terms. Each Commissioner must be a registered voter and live within the district they represent. Commissioners are not all elected at the same time. Three commissioners are elected in one election cycle, and the other two members are elected in the next election cycle two years later, so that the terms are staggered for continuity.

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