Bath Board of Supervisors working out details after disagreement over the process of making appointments to boards and commissions
At Tuesday night’s Bath Board of Supervisors meeting the board reviewed a draft of a policy outlining how the board will find people to fill open seats on various commissions and boards.
In the past, when an opening came up on a board, the Bath supervisor from that particular district was responsible for finding someone to fill the seat. Then the entire board would vote to approve that supervisor’s recommendation.
The current board of supervisors decided to handle the process differently. It agreed to advertise open seats on boards and commissions and have interested candidates submit applications. Under this new process there was disagreement among board members in February on an appointment to the planning commission for the Warm Springs District. The majority of the board voted to appoint John Loeffler to finish out an unexpired term, while the supervisor for the Warm Springs District, Bart Perdue, along with Supervisor Claire Collins, voted for another candidate. On Tuesday night the majority of the board again appointed John Loeffler to the planning commission for a full term. And again Supervisor Bart Perdue voted for another candidate.
On Tuesday night the Board reviewed a written draft of this policy on appointments to boards and commissions. The policy states that openings will be advertised, including those of sitting members who are interested in reappointment. Individual supervisors are also encouraged to recruit candidates to apply. All candidates must submit an application for the board’s review. And the board reserves the right to interview applicants, if a single supervisor requests it.
Supervisor Bart Perdue said Tuesday night that he likes the idea of advertising, but doesn’t like the idea of people cherry picking candidates. Supervisor Claire Collins said that advertising is a good solution to try and get candidates, but the responsibility is for that district’s supervisor to find that appointee. She said the district supervisor should also get a recommendation from county staff on candidates. Collins said she felt that the district representative on the board of supervisors should make the recommendation from among all the candidates.
Board Chair Bruce McWilliams said he felt that recommendations are helpful, but suggested that the entire board is tasked with the responsibility to giving direction to the various boards through their appointments. He said it should be what the majority of the board of supervisors chooses.
During public comment, two people spoke in favor of adoption of the policy. One was Ronald Pozun, of the Warm Springs District, one of the candidates for the planning commission seat that was voted on Tuesday night. He said a lot of people want to keep things status quo and said the board has to look at the most qualified people, as opposed to someone who has been in a position for a long time. He encouraged the board to adopt the written policy in order to get the most qualified applicants.
The board agreed to review the policy draft and consider it again at next month’s meeting.