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  • Writer's pictureCharlene Sims, Journal staff

Commission replaces chair on a split 2-1 vote

Updated: Jun 13

By Charlene Sims,

MOUND CITY – Linn County Commissioner Jason Hightower was stripped of his position as commission chair in a surprise move during the commission meeting on Monday, June 10.

After Hightower, started out the meeting with Robert’s Rules of Order procedures, asking if there was anything fellow commissioners Jim Johnson and Danny McCullough wanted to add to the agenda. Hightower then asked if there was a motion to approve the agenda as presented.

Johnson asked him why the commission was doing this.

Hightower said it was just a parliamentary procedure thing and he was just checking so that he could keep the meeting on track. He asked the other commissioners if they had an issue with it.

“Do we need to take a class on how to run a meeting now?” McCullough asked. “It seems like each week we are coming into something different.”                                                                                                   

“Last week we find out the chair gets to make the decision on when department heads come in and now we are doing this, so is there anything else?” asked McCullough.

At last week’s meeting where Hightower had made the decision at the suggestion of County Counselor Mark Hagen and County Clerk David Lamb to have department heads turn their reports in to the commissioners in writing rather than come and be attacked by Johnson and McCullough.

Hightower said that Hagen and Lamb had thought it might be in the best interest of the commission at this time to do that. 

At that meeting, Hagen pointed out, “There have been a series of misunderstandings between commissioners and staff, so that we took a temporary pause on having the various department heads come and report. Once those get resolved, I think it was the intention of the chairman at least and my recommendation is to certainly you can resume then. But you need to take care of business first.” 

Hagen had also told them at that meeting that the chair is the one who sets the meeting agenda.

“Due to recent events that’s happened, I make a motion that we remove Jason as the board of the county commissioners,” Johnson said. “I’d like to replace him with Danny for the remainder of the year.”

Seeming to anticipate the motion, McCullough immediately gave it a second.

The vote was 2 to 1 in favor of replacing Hightower, with Hightower voting against the measure.

McCullough then took over the meeting.

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