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Morgan County approves new board appointment process

September 07, 2007|By TRISH RUDDER

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. - A new process to review board appointments was approved Friday by the Morgan County Commission.

Commission President Glen R. Stotler and Commissioner Brenda J. Hutchinson voted to approve the process.

"I worked at the courthouse for seven years, and I wanted to serve on boards, but as the average citizen, I did not have a clue what the process is to get on a board," Hutchinson said. "I thought it was only open to a select few, and my objective is to open it up to more people and it be a more open process in the future."

The new guidelines are as follows:

? When a board vacancy occurs, it will be listed on the county's Web site and be publicized in the local newspaper.

? All applications received at the commission office will be date stamped.

? When an opening becomes available, the commission will review the file and determine if a majority of the commission would consider appointing any of the applicants to a particular board.

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? If at least one commissioner wants to interview the applicant, the commission will do so.

? The interviews will be placed on the commission meeting agenda and will be conducted in open session.

Most of the county boards have three-year terms, Stotler said. He said there currently are vacancies on the Fire Board and Economic Development Board.

Stotler said the planning commission can have between 11 and 15 board members. When asked if he would consider increasing the size of the commission from its current 11 members because others are interested in serving, he said he would have to think about it.

"Some people have personal agendas as why they want to serve on a board," Stotler said.

Stotler said if the commission had 15 members, it would have to have eight in attendance in order to conduct business with a quorum. Eight members attended the last meeting, and the meetings are held one evening per month.

"I think we need a broader composition of representation that reflects the county," said Barbara Tutor, a Morgan County resident. "Diversity gives you a much better view of what you need to consider. We don't have enough women or working people."

Hutchinson said she had no problem with increasing the size of the planning commission to 15 members.

Commissioner Thomas R. Swaim was absent from Friday's meeting.

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