Calhoun County Council has tabled second reading of an ordinance that would have made changes to the county’s boards and commissions. Council will take more time to review the proposal.

Some residents claim the changes would take away the authority of boards and commissions, transferring the power to the county’s administrator and council.

“While the citizens of Calhoun County voted not to have an administrator form of government, this ordinance essentially gives the administrator that power because it exponentially increases his ability to control all the agencies, even if they have boards or commissions,” Calhoun County Historical Commission member Jennie Redmond said.

Redmond claimed such a change would make the Historical Commission into an advisory board.

“I find that very disturbing because the citizens told you they did not want the administrator form of government and, if you pass this, you essentially basically break the public trust because, as elected officials, you are on council to carry out the wishes of the public when it is in the best interest of the public and the public said they preferred to have checks and balances available so that no single entity has an insurmountable amount of control” Redmond said.

People are also reading…

County Council decided Monday that, because of the concerns raised, council members want to take more time to review the language of the ordinance.

Resident Tris Waystack also spoke during the meeting, saying “People in Calhoun County don’t want an administrator running the county as a dictator and essentially that is what this ordinance is.

“This ordinance is essentially a hostile takeover of the boards and the associations of Calhoun County.”

Waystack said while he understands the need for the county administrator and council to be involved in certain things, he believes the ordinance goes too far.

He also claims the ordinance indicates that money raised by the museum would be deposited into the county’s general fund.

“If I write a check to the Calhoun County Museum for $10,000, I expect it to be used at the Calhoun County Museum, not to end up putting sewer lines in Sandy Run or buying diesel fuel for county school buses. That’s a problem,” Waystack said.

In a related matter, Council Chairman James Haigler said the county is trying to enhance its ability to recruit quality candidates to serve on boards and commissions.

The county has challenges filling boards and commissions with individuals who are committed to serving and attending meetings, Haigler said. Some seats may be filled by people who are ill and unable to attend meetings, and some appointees may have died.

Haigler said the intention of the ordinance was not to remove current board members that are committed to service.

As part of this effort the county, is looking to implement Matchboard software. The software will allow interested people to apply for board and commission appointments they are interested in.

A link would be placed on the county’s website for people to apply and those who do not have Internet access will be able to call the county’s administration office to apply for positions.

The software will also be able to track terms of members on boards and commissions and enable the county and those serving to better understand whose terms are expiring and when.

Haigler said a lot of times people do not know when their terms are expiring and board terms roll over without individuals sometimes knowing.

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