Charlene Sims, Journal staff
Discussion continues on term limits for county committees
Updated: Sep 9, 2022
MOUND CITY – In a continuing discussion about limiting committee members’ terms on advisory boards, County Counselor Gary Thompson on Monday, Aug. 29, gave Linn County commissioners a tentative list of the committees to which commissioners appointed members. The committees are:
• Economic Development – nine members, terms concurrent with commissioners, has bylaws
• Planning /Zoning – nine members, three-year staggered terms, bylaws
• Airport Board – Members, no set terms, no bylaws
• Fire Board, seven members, three-year terms staggered, existence of bylaws are uncertain
• Health Board, seven members, three-year terms staggered, no bylaws
• Child Care Action Committee, 12 members, no set terms, no bylaws
The airport, health and child care committees, all of which have no term limits or bylaws, were established by the current commissioners over the past year.
Thompson explained that the committees were different, some have set bylaws, some don’t, some have set terms, some don’t. He also asked if the commissioners wanted a new advisory committee if they received the Rural Champions Grant for housing.
“The question of term limits is what you raised last week,” said Thompson. “On the one hand, people argue that the fact that you’ve got a specific term is in itself a term limit because you can just not reappoint them.”
“But that’s the problem, they always get reappointed,” said Commissioner Rick James. “It’s better for them to know that they are not going to. You do your term limit, you do two terms, you can come back at a later date, but let’s give somebody else the opportunity.”
Thompson said he had met with staff people who had advisory committees and he encouraged the commissioners to work with the staff people who work with these committees to get their input, because they are the ones who have to keep these committees populated and motivated.
The department heads are continuing to work on this and are going to come back with some additional information. But this is where we are right now, said Thompson.
James said there is another committee that the commission learned about this morning, the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC). It’s kind of a hidden board until something happens and then it’s a nightmare, he said.