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  • Charlene Sims, Journal staff

Commissioner looks to remove long-term members from committees

Updated: Sep 1, 2022

MOUND CITY – Linn County Commissioner Rick James on Monday, Aug. 22, asked County Counselor Gary Thompson to draw up a policy letter about term limits for county boards and committees.

At the past two commission meetings, James has been questioning Linn County Fire Chief Randy Hegwald about who was on the fire board, how long they had been on there and when their terms were up.

“I would like us to consider that we have people on committees that have been on committees for 20 years and so I would like to come up with something that makes sense, said James. “A person serves on a committee, the way it is broken up now, for two three-year terms and then takes a break if they want to come back.”

“So instead of somebody just going continuously on planning and zoning or any of the other committees, you do two three-year terms, take off three years before they can apply and come back again if they want to come back on. Give somebody else the opportunity to serve the community instead of somebody staying on some of these committees for 20 years,” said James.

Thompson said he thought he could put something together to accomplish that. The committees would need to be listed that apply to so that it is clear.

“People never get involved because it is the same people that are involved over and over,” said James.

Economic Development Director Jessica Hightower said that when the committee updated the bylaws for the Economic Development Committee, they had built it into the bylaws that people would be reappointed when the new commissioner terms started.

“Would you rather this policy that you are proposing supersede mine?” asked Hightower.

James said he would. He did not want somebody to be on economic development for 20 years.

County Commissioner Danny McCullough asked if that policy should apply to every committee that the county has.

Thompson said he thought so – unless the commissioners put a list together exempting some committees.

James said he did not think it was unreasonable, Commission Chair Jim Johnson said he did not have a problem with it, McCullough expressed no opinion. No vote was taken, but Thompson is going to work on drafting a policy.

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