Has a fear of the unknown gripped the Warren County Commission?
Commissioners were successful in an attempt to block the presentation of new committee assignments by Commissioner Blaine Wilcher – at least temporarily. On Monday, after being reappointed as chairman of the commission, Wilcher was within seconds of presenting a list of committee appointments for commissioners to consider when the effort to block it began.
“I would like to make a motion that we keep our committees as is,” said Commission Ron Lee, who later expressed a desire to review the list of committee assignments generated by Wilcher in advance of the meeting.
The motion prompted an hour-long debate. At its end, the discussion was summed up by Commissioner Carl D. Bouldin as “the biggest cluster I’ve ever seen.”
Wilcher reminded commissioners the old assignments did not include newly appointed District 3 Commissioner Kasey Owens or the District 5 Commissioner to be determined during the election Nov. 3.
Lee suggested that Owens would fill the slots previously held by Richard Grissom.
“We already filled Richard’s positions,” said Commission Steven Helton. “There are no open positions. Therefore, there are no positions available for Kasey to fill.”
Commissioner Carl E. Bouldin, who is the longest serving member on the commission, urged commissioners to avoid confusion and allow Wilcher to present his list. He turned that suggestion into a motion.
“We already have a motion on the floor,” said Wilcher. “The only thing that can be done is that motion can be amended.”
Commissioner Deborah Evans motioned to amend by adding Kasey Owens onto two committees with openings, but that motion failed, 13-10.
Lee’s original motion, which was to leave committee assignments as is, also failed 14-9.
Wilcher created discontent last year with his list of committee assignments. Specifically, his recommendations for the county’s most influential committee -- Budget and Finance.
Commissioner Robert Hennessee accused Wilcher of replacing “progressive” individuals with ones that were not.
Scott Rubley requested the list to be distributed prior to October’s meeting, allowing five to seven days for review.
Wilcher said he couldn’t distribute the list prior to the September meeting because he had yet to be reappointed chairman and that action could be construed as swaying votes in his favor from the commissioners happy with their placement.
“I will contact CTAS (County Technical Advisory Service) to make sure that it’s OK since I have been elected chairman,” said Wilcher. “I think it should be, since I am chairman now.”
The motion to table the measure until the October meeting passed 13-10.
The Warren County Commission meets on the third Monday night in October at 6:30 p.m.