• Charlene Sims, Journal staff

Commission continues discussion on committee terms

Updated: 6 days ago

MOUND CITY – On Monday, Nov. 14, the Linn County Commissioners Jim Johnson and Rick James discussed the proposed plan for county committees. James had been asking to make all committees have uniform terms for their members.

At present, the committees have different term limits and no rules about length of terms. Most committee members are appointed by the commissioners and some committees have their members reappointed by the commissioners. James is asking for the new rules so that terms are automatic and the commissioners can avoid reappointments.

James had suggested that all committee members have staggered three-year terms and are limited to two three-year terms. After that, they can rejoin the committee after sitting out for three years.

County department heads and County Counselor Gary Thompson have been working together to ensure that the rules were favorable to keep committee boards full while allowing new members to join. Department heads also want to make sure that they have full attendance at their committee meetings.

Economic Development Director and Airport Manager Jessica Hightower has several committees under her watch including economic development, the airport committee, and the childcare committee.

Thompson added a section that allowed the commissioners to exempt specific committees on a case by case basis for good cause. This is because several of the staff people that work with the committees expressed concern that a few of the committees might have trouble maintaining operation if the strict term limits were applied.

James asked which committees those were.

Hightower said two of those were the airport and childcare committees which Hightower said had certain people from the county who had expertise in those areas.

“They are very niche committees and the people who are on them are the people who are interested on being on them,” said Hightower.

James disagreed with giving any committee exceptions in the new guidelines because he said they would be back to where they had started from and he wants to relook at the proposal and vote on it next week when Commissioner Danny McCullough is present. But later in the meeting James announced that he would not be in attendance next week.

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