In the right direction

Published 7:38 pm Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Board of County Commissioners mutually agreed to prepare legislation that would change the role of the board’s chairman and how he is elected.

Commissioner Butch Mosely suggested that the commission’s bylaws be rewritten to allow the chairman to vote on a regular basis and that the chairman’s role rotate among all of them.

Under current bylaws, the board of commissioners chairman may not vote himself, except in the event of a tie. However, the chairman is elected by voters in his district, just as the other five were.

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Citizens have complained that they are not fairly represented if the commissioner from their district becomes chairman and is thus unable to vote on most county business.

This is a valid complaint, and moves toward fixing this flaw is commendable.

However, the proposed legislation needs to spell out specifically how a tie would be broken so county business isn’t bogged down because of a split commission.

The legislation also needs to spell out how the chairmanship would be rotated—by district number or by seniority?

This issue has been brewing for a couple of years now, and there’s no reason it shouldn’t pass this year. Just make sure it’s done correctly so while fixing one problem, you’re not creating another one.