Number of commissioners will remain at three per district

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By Jennifer Caldwell

Despite a history of flip-flopping on the number of commissioners to be seated per district it was again put to a vote on Monday.

The group voted to uphold last month’s decision during Monday evening’s commission meeting.

While he was not successful, Commissioner Adrion Baird’s motion to rescind last month’s action, which bumped the number of commissioners representing each district back to three, created the fourth vote on the issue.

The vote to reduce the number of commissioners to two per district in the 2010 election was proposed by Commissioner Johnny Bruce and passed in 2008.  

In August, Commissioner Scott Kitts introduced a measure that would push the number of representatives from each district back to three.  However, after learning that reducing the commission by five members would create a savings of somewhere in the neighborhood of $70,000 per year Kitts withdrew his motion.

During the same meeting Commissioner Rusty Orick authored the same motion Kitts withdrew citing low attendance during the meeting in which the reduction was made as his reason for wanting a new vote on the matter.  Orick’s motion failed.

Then in September Commissioner Melvin Boshears took another stab at adding five members back to the commission. This time the third district commissioner was able to garner enough support to overturn the action, which reduced the number to 10.

Prior to Monday’s vote on the matter, Baird argued that having a lesser number of commissioners would not be a detriment to the board.

“The board of education has 10 members and that has not been an obstruction to their operation, and having only two commissioners per district will save the county $70,000,” Baird stated.

Prior to the roll call vote, Chairman David Young issued a proclamation.

“We are going to vote on this, but after tonight this will not appear on the agenda again as long as I am your chairperson,” Young said.

Contrary to Young’s statement, county attorney Joe Coker said commissioners had the right to make an appeal to have the subject introduced in the future.

Baird’s motion failed in a 6-9 vote.


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