Are Board Members Personnel?

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 21, 2012

By Mike Barnhardt
Enterprise Record

Who gets to speak at county commission meetings and for how long was again a topic Monday night.
Because 14 people had signed up to speak, and they are allowed three minutes each, it exceeded the 20-minute time limit allowed for public comment. Commissioner Ken White made a motion to allow all who had signed up to speak, and it passed 3-2, with Chair Carl Humphrey and Vice Chair Robert Wisecarver voting against that.
White also appealed to Humphrey to allow all commissioners a time at the end of the meeting to speak on any topic they desire, a practice that was allowed before Humphrey became chair. That was denied.
Board attorney Ed Vogler set the rules for the public comments portion of the meeting, and said that speakers should only address issues “for the good of the county,” although the county’s policy on public comment does not mention “good.” It says the speakers should speak to the board, but there will be no dialogue between the speaker and the board. It also says the “board can adopt reasonable rules governing the conduct” of such public comment periods.
When Dr. Joel Edwards spoke, he mentioned Humphrey by name and was told by Humphrey that calling of names was not allowed. Edwards continued, thereafter referring to Humphrey as an “individual.”
After the meeting, Humphrey …