Board appointment process approved
The Morgan County Commission approved a final draft of procedures for county volunteer board appointments and re-appointments at their September 7 meeting.
Commissioner Brenda Hutchinson made the motion for approval and Commissioner Glen Stotler seconded it. Commissioner Tommy Swaim was out of town.
Stotler said that there were slight changes from the second draft of the procedures in the final draft. They had come to a consensus with which they were all comfortable, he said.
The procedure steps for a new appointment are publicizing available board positions in the local newspaper and on the county website, staff date-stamping volunteer application forms of interested applicants, reviewing the file for applicants interested in that particular board and determining whether a majority of the commission would consider appointing board applicants to that specific board.
If a majority of commissioners indicate they would consider a specific applicant for a board position and if at least one commissioner wants to interview the applicant(s) being considered, the commission will interview those applicants.
If the commission desires to interview the applicants, the board openings and interviews will be placed on the commission meeting agenda for a specific time. Applicants would be selected for interviews and interviews would be held in open session. The commission would vote to approve the board appointment in open session.
For reappointments, staff would check with the volunteer board member to see if they were still interested in serving. The commission would review their attendance and past activity on the board.
If at least one commissioner wanted to interview a reappointment, the commission would do so. After being placed on the meeting agenda at a specific time, the commissioners would then determine if they would be reappointed or replaced.
A replacement would follow the same steps of a new appointment listed previously. Commissioners would vote for a reappointment in open session.
The board appointment procedures were an effort to standardize the process, said Hutchinson. Interested residents will be able to access the volunteer application form online and print it out, said Hutchinson.
Each county board varies in length of terms and requirements. Attendance can be an issue if meetings are consistently missed. It's difficult on smaller boards to get a quorum to take action, said Stotler.
Stotler said if they had a board vacancy, they might select a candidate from the file that they could approve. They may not go out and solicit more applicants. Hutchinson said she would like to see the vacancies advertised.
"We don't have people kicking our door down," said Stotler of board applicants.
Barbara Tudor said that she was recommended for a "Think Tank" with Commissioner Bob Ford and attended a meeting. She said she was told they'd disband the board before they'd select her.
"I think people have the impression that only a select few are wanted. Diversity gives you a better view," said Tudor.
Tudor felt that there were not enough women and new residents on the county boards.
Hutchinson said that she worked at the courthouse for seven years and would have wanted to have been on some county boards, but didn't know about the process. She thought the average citizen doesn't know either and thinks that it's the same people on the boards.
Hutchinson's objective is to open the boards up to a larger group so they are more diverse.
"It's a good starting point. Let's move forward," said Hutchinson of the new process.
A vacancy exists on the Morgan County Economic Development Authority Board. The board has 15 members with representation from the areas of labor, business and industry, said County Administrator Bill Clark.
The term of service is three years. The board usually meets every other month or whenever they have business or actions to take, said Clark.
A vacancy also exists on the Morgan County Fire Board for a citizen representative for Magisterial District 2.
For more information about the board vacancies, call the Morgan County Commission Office at 258-8540.