More orders approved by the county commission may start citing state statues that govern the action after a local man made the request this week.
Eric Reichert of Villa Ridge said it would be helpful if the state statutes were included in the commission orders so citizens could have a better understanding of how government works.
He brought up the issue at the Tuesday county commission meeting in regards to a commission order to appoint a new member to the county planning and zoning commission.
He said it would have been helpful to know which state statute governs such appointments so there can be an understanding of how people are selected for the posts.
The commission appointed William McLaren to serve on the planning commission to represent the Calvey Township. He replaced Tim Baker, who resigned because he is running for presiding commissioner.
Baker said he felt ethically obligated to resign from the planning board because he may be elected presiding commissioner. He said he does not feel it is right to vote on issues now as a planning commissioner and then possibly vote on the same issues later if elected presiding commissioner.
Planning Director Scottie Eagan said her office typically asks the person who is leaving the planning board if he or she knows of a person who may be a good fit for the position. Her office may also ask the county commissioners and planning commission members if they know of anyone who would be suitable for the appointment.
“If we don’t get anybody interested, then we try to put it in the paper to get more people interested,” Eagan said.
Planning commission members are paid $25 for every meeting they attend, Eagan said.
Reichert said it would be good to know how the citizens of the affected townships are notified that an opening exists so those in the area can throw their hat in the ring for consideration.
Second District Commissioner Mike Schatz asked County Counselor Mark Vincent if it would be possible to include the applicable state statute in commission orders.
Vincent noted that some of the commission orders are written by the individual officeholders who may not know which statutes to cite.
Vincent said it’s not a problem for him to write all the commission orders but that it will “slow things down.”
First District Commissioner Tim Brinker suggested that statutes be cited in commission orders that apply to filling vacancies on boards. Brinker added that people are always welcome to call the commissioners’ office if they have questions regarding commission orders and statutes.
Presiding County Commissioner John Griesheimer said Vincent could use his own judgment to decide which particular commission orders may require citing a statute.
“I don’t think you need to do it on each and every one” Griesheimer said. “If a statute comes to mind, and you can reference that, you know, put it in there, if not, don’t worry about it.”