Free Daily Headlines


Set your text size: A A A

Commissioners reject mandatory chairmanship rotation

Three Henderson County commissioners on Wednesday again expressed opposition to changing the way the board elects its leader, although it took no vote on the question.


Commissioners Grady Hawkins and Larry Young favor an automatic rotation of the chairmanship, which Hawkins brought up in September.
Currently the board elects its chair yearly, at the first meeting in December. It has not traditionally limited the number of terms the chair can serve, although in the past three years the board has chosen a new leader every December — Michael Edney to serve in 2011, Tommy Thompson to serve in 2012 and Charlie Messer to serve this year.

For the third time, commissioners discussed the mandatory rotation idea and for the third time the three most recent chairs said they oppose any change.
"As far as rotating the chairmanship, I think the way we're organized works fine," Thompson said. "I have no problem with it, I'd be happy to continue it."
The discussion of the chair election triggered a discussion about how commissioners get an item on the agenda — a process that the chair and vice chair control with input from county administrators.
Thompson, who has served one year as chair and two years as vice chair, referred to a situation recently where Hawkins tried unsuccessfully to add a discussion item to the schedule.
"Everybody knows when we have the agenda meeting," he said. "Everybody knows that if they need to get something on there, they need to ask and get it on there."
If three or more commissioners meet for an agenda meeting, Thompson said, that would constitute a regular meeting, open to the public, and would essentially double the number of meetings.
"I'm thinking that we're doing well but we amongst the five of us we need to ... try to make sure all of us know what's going on there, and if we want something on there get it to the agenda meeting early enough so that it can be accomplished."
Hawkins had also suggested the board may want to go to a countywide election of the chair. That change, he said today, proved to be more complicated.