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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

New commissioners plan to adjust meeting shedule next year

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The new Greene County Commissioners are planning a change in their meeting schedule after Jan. 1 when they take office.

While no decisions have officially been made, the three commissioners say they are open to at least trying to conduct one of their two monthly meetings during the late afternoon or evening hours.

Incumbent Commissioner Rick Graves says one of the first orders of business when the commissioners meet for their reorganization meeting will be to set meeting hours, dates and times.

Graves and incoming commissioners Ed Michael and Nathan Abrams say they are open to the idea of conducting a meeting that provide better access for those who work or who are unable to attend a daytime meeting.

Presently, the commissioners meet at 9:30 a.m. on the first and third Mondays at 9:30 a.m. in the third floor meeting room at the county courthouse in Bloomfield.

"We haven't talked about it (having an evening meeting), but I have heard that idea floated," Graves told the Greene County Daily World on Monday. "Would it (a night meeting) encourage more people to attend (the meeting)? That would be the goal and if it doesn't accomplish that, I'm sure that it's anymore convenient for the policyholders or the people who work here in the courthouse."

Graves said he might want to consider doing some kind of poll among people who work in the courthouse to gauge their feelings about a proposed change.

The idea of conducting a night meeting has been considered by previous Boards of Commissioners, but never garnered the votes to make the switch to at least one evening meeting.

Graves said the change could possibly provide better access to the public meeting.

"If it does encourage more people to show up then, I think it's a good idea," Graves concluded.

Abrams was quick to say he'd like to see a night meeting and stated, "Just so everybody would have an opportunity to come. It would be more accessible. I don't want anybody to have an excuse that they couldn't come (to one of the meetings). If they want to come fine. And, if it turns out that nobody ever shows up and it (a night meeting) becomes a problem, we could always change back.

"Right now, I just want everybody to have an opportunity to come if they want too. We would probably want to do the second meeting a month (in the evening)."

Abrams said the election of two new Republican members to the Board of Commissions -- replacing two current Democrat Party members ---- tells him people wanted a change.

"People didn't want things going just like it is. So the more we can do to make things appear to be different the better. I've had several comments during the campaign about wanting a night meeting," Abrams stressed.

In the Nov. 6 General Election, Abrams defeated incumbent commissioner's president Steve Lindsey for the District 2 seat, while Michael topped James Crabb for the District 1 position.

Current District 1 Commissioner Kermit Holtsclaw did not seek re-election.

Michael, who is a current County Council member on a group that meets once a month in the late afternoon at 4 p.m., agreed with the other two county executives that having a night meeting is worth a try to increase access to the meeting.

"We need to discuss that. I'd think it would be a good thing, but I don't know," Michael said following Monday's morning meeting. "I can see where people coming in here to the meeting during the day like contractors and so forth, I can see where a morning meeting works for them. People who actually have a job, I can see if they want to come in here and have anything to do with the commissioners, with one meeting a month (at night) at least they can do that."

The commissioner-elect said he would be willing to discuss a night meeting.

"If they (the other two commissioners) are willing to try it, I am too," Michael concluded.

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