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Committee membership sparks debate for commissioners

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By Jennifer Caldwell

Debate turned lively at Monday’s commission meeting when the make-up of several commission committees was challenged.

Battle lines were drawn when Commissioner Scott Kitts put motions on the table to change the membership of the Financial Management Systems committee and the Environmental Services committee.

As he introduced his proposed action Kitts argued while some districts had ample representation on the committees others had none at all.

Much to some of his nominees’ surprise Kitts introduced a motion that would unseat all of those commissioners currently serving on the FMS committee.

“I make a motion for Bobby White to replace Lynn Letner; Adrion Baird to replace Ann Smith; David Young to replace David Goins and Melvin Boshears to replace (Clarence) “Bass” Bolton,” Kitts said as some of his colleagues looked on in apparent shock.

In response to Kitts’ declaration both White and Young respectfully declined their nominations.

While Baird soon offered a second to Kitts’ motion Commissioner Whit Goins was less supportive.

“If we’re going to change one (committee) we should change them all,” Goins said questioning why Kitts had only targeted select committees for changes.

Commissioner Rusty Orick also voiced opposition to the proposed action suggesting if a commissioner wished to be removed from a committee they should confer with other representatives from their district to determine a replacement.

Baird, on the other hand, offered his support for the measure arguing that the changes were a long time coming.

“I argued last year and the year before that we should rotate that (FMS) committee,” Baird said of the statutory committee.  “It is not fair for the committee to be dominated year after year by the same people.”

While White agreed that the second district had been historically denied representation on the FMS committee, he said he had declined his proposed appointment to the committee because Baird, another second district representative, was also on Kitts’ list of replacements.

Attempting to put the brakes on further action Commissioner Whit Goins made a motion to table the action until the October meeting. However county attorney Joe Coker told the group they must make a decision regarding the appointments that evening.

When Kitts’ motion failed Orick made an effort to simplify the proceedings with another motion on the floor asking that the FMS committee and all other committees retain their current memberships.

Baird continued to argue vehemently against the exclusion of second district representation.

“This vote is nothing but a sham,” Baird said of Orick’s motion.

As Young prepared to have commission secretary Sue Nance call the roll on Orick’s motion, Coker was forced to redirect the action again.

“If you vote to reappoint all committees it will be in violation of the rules,” Coker said.

Following Coker’s announcement Young declared the only committees up for discussion for the remainder of the evening were the statutory committees.

After exhausting all discussion commissioners voted to leave the FMS committee as it for another year.

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