Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Meeting Notes - 4/18/06

My first meeting as a County Board Supervisor was last night. The highlight was definitely taking the oath of office and receiving the 'Certification of Election' (suitable for framing).

We elected Supervisor Dave Albrecht to another term as chair and Supervisor John Schaidler to Vice-Chair (also a re-election). There were no challengers and Supervisor Albrecht won by 37-0-1 and Supervisor Schaidler 38-0.

Next was a discussion of the rules under which we will operate for the next 2 years. These were submitted by Supervisor Rengstorf.

The main discussion centered around a rule that vacancies to the board must be appointed by the chair within 60 days. Because there are often no applications within this time period, there was a proposal to change the wording to 'as soon as possible.'

I spoke out against this wording. While I saw the point, I believe a time interval is a key element. I wanted wording similar to 'within 60 days if there is an applicant, or as soon as there is an applicant thereafter.'

The reason I believe that a time element in necessary is, for some budget matters, an empty seat is a 'nay' vote. Therefore, the chair could refuse to appoint someone to a position until after a vote to get that extra 'nay'.

In essence, the chair would have the power to cast multiple votes - his own as well as the no votes that would come from refusing to appoint.

It is on that principle that I feel a time limit is necessary.

The rule stood as written, because logically you cannot appoint without an applicant, so 60 days or as soon as an applicant is found after that is the same as the current wording.

After the rules were approved, the Chair appointed the Committee on Committees. These are the supervisors who work on appointing committee members. I will update this post with the committee members, but my notes are in my car and I do not want to get it wrong.

After adjournment, I requested that Chair Albrecht let me know when the Committee on Committees will meet, as I would like to attend (one of the rules we had just approved is that any Supervisor may attend any committee meeting) and learn more about the process.

This was followed by coffee, milk and cake to welcome the new supervisors. Good conversations followed!


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