In a meeting filled with presentations from non-profit organizations and tax abatement reviews, it was a discussion on a seemingly minor appointment which brought the most discussion among the Kosciusko County Council.
A request by the Pierceton Library board to appoint Helen Hall to the board sparked discussion among councilmen on the true interest and dedication of the would-be appointee. The council has before mentioned they are not comfortable simply voting on appointments based only on a name.
Councilman Doug Heinisch began the discussion asking why Hall was not at the meeting, saying attendance for similar appointees has been requested by the council before. “Bob, this is something you’ve mentioned before,” Heinisch said to fellow councilman Bob Sanders.
In past meetings Sanders has said in no uncertain terms he would like those being nominated for various appointments to come before the council. “What’s our responsibility if we appoint a person and they fail to follow through on the responsibility of being on a board?” Sanders asked county attorney Mike Miner.
Miner’s answer was simple in that the council would have no responsibility if anyone they ever appointed either failed to meet the obligations of the board they are appointed to, or even if the person committed a crime such as embezzlement, during their appointed term. Even that answer did not totally satisfy the council. Sanders again asked that either the person recommended for the appointment or a member of the board asking for the appointment be present to defend the decision.
“I agree, but I don’t,” said council president Tom Anglin. Some of the small boards already have trouble getting volunteers to give their times to the boards, he said. Councilman Larry Teghtemeyer agreed with Anglin, but when it came down to a vote, Teghtemeyer agreed that some representative should be present when the appointment is being voted on.
Sanders made the motion saying, from this point forward, either the would-be appointee or a representative of the board requesting the will be required for all appointments. “I’m willing to vote on (the Hall appointment) tonight because they may not have a quorum at their next meeting, but I want someone to attend the meeting,” said Sanders.
In other business, the council heard brief presentations from non-profit organizations that are seeking funding for the 2013 operating year. Those budget requests will be voted on in August.
The next regular meeting of the county council will be at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 9.