Free Daily Headlines


Set your text size: A A A

Board drops 'mandate' from mission statement as too toxic

As far as the Henderson County commissioners are concerned, "mandate" has become a loaded word, and they decided Monday night to unload the word from their mission statement.

The current mission statement, adopted on Dec. 17, 2003, says: "Our mission is to lead our community, to promote individual responsibility and equal opportunity, to protect life and property, to provide efficient, innovative, and quality public services; to provide services required by Federal and State mandates; to stimulate economic growth and regional cooperation, and to balance the preservation and utilization of all of our resources."

Reference to following state and federal mandates was a tripwire for Commissioner Daniel Andreotta, who requested that amending the statement be put on the board's agenda.

"I had some citizens reach out that mandates have become one of those things we're not too much in love with anymore," he said. "I think it would be good to not paint ourselves in a corner. We're going to be more than a rubberstamp. We're not drawing a line but we're going to be more than just robotic rubberstampers."

Board Chair Bill Lapsley said he agreed with Andreotta, because the mission statement could create a conflict when commissioners don't wish to provide services mandated by state and federal government. The use of mandates has become  highly politicized in the context of the coronavirus pandemic, with state or federal mandates regarding masks, vaccinations and quarantines dividing elected officials, states and communities often along partisan lines.

In Henderson County, for instance, commissioners have expressed opposition to mask mandate in the county schools, which the School Board has ordered, and have questioned how quarantines are applied.