Discontent continues between Warren County commissioners over a list of committee assignments.
“I personally believe this doesn’t promote any positive cohesiveness throughout the government because other elected officials and department heads can view this as a strong-arm move that could be used on them,” said Commissioner Daniel Owens. “This doesn’t look good for the commission to be using leverage for any political gain or control over others. We should be working together instead of us tearing it apart.”
The statement was made in a reply email to Commissioner Blaine Wilcher after he informed commissioners of his intent to tie distribution of his list of committee assignments to County Executive Jimmy Haley’s monthly report.
“All, I have forwarded my list of suggested Committee Appoint-ments to the County Executive’s Office,” said Wilcher. “I have asked that it be sent out when the county executive’s report is and not before. Hopefully, it will be in your packet.”
The move brought swift unrest from Owens because Haley’s report is usually distributed just prior to the County Commission’s meeting night.
“I understand you are chair of the County Court and you have the right to take some liberties with your role. However, I am unsure of what your ploy is by this decision,” said Owens. “Last month, the commission voted to see the list before the meeting and you stated you would have it submitted seven days or more for us to view. Unfortunately, I believe this sounds like you are using this as a tool to force the county executive to submit paperwork in a timely manner.”
Wilcher admitted his attempt was an effort to prompt Haley to submit a timely report.
“Yes, I did ask that this be tied to the county executive’s report,” said Wilcher. “As many commissioners have mentioned to me for several months, we would hope we could see this report earlier than late in the evening prior to our meeting. Commissioner Ron Lee actually mentioned something that was in his report last month, and said I might have seen it if I had read it (which I didn’t due to its late release). Unfortunately, I don’t set my work hours and I’m unable to read and review something properly that is sent out so close to a meeting.”
The list was attached to that reply.
Wilcher recommends the following committee assignments:
Highway and Bridge – Gary Prater, Michael Bell, Cole Taylor, Randy England and the new 5th District commissioner voted into office Nov. 3.
County Correc-tions – Steven Helton, Carl D. Bouldin, Steve Glenn, Carl E. Bouldin, Joseph Stotts.
Policy and Personnel – Tommy Savage, Glenn, Helton, Ron Lee, Tyrone Sparkman.
Health and Welfare – Wilcher, David Dunlap, Deborah Evans, Stotts, Kasey Owens.
Education Commit-tee – Carlene Brown, Dunlap, Evans, Robert Hennessee, Phillip Stout.
Economic and Agriculture Development – Gary Martin, Bell, Savage (to be replaced by the new 5th District commissioner), Lee, Carl D. Bouldin.
Building and Grounds – Carl E. Bouldin, Hennessee, Savage, Stout, Brown.
Budget and Finance – Scott Rubley, Randy England, Cole Taylor, Christy Ross, Savage.
Safety and Beer Board – Lee, Kasey Owens, Prater, Ross, England.
Legislative – Brown, Carl D. Bouldin, Hennessee, Daniel Owens, Stotts.
Redistricting – England, Sparkman, Stout, Daniel Owens.
The county Financial Management was set during the commission’s September meeting. It will contain Martin, Rubley, Daniel Owens and Wilcher and per state statute, the county executive, Warren County Highway Department director and the director of Warren County Schools.
Those positions are currently held by Jimmy Haley, Levie Glenn and Grant Swallows, respectively.
During the full Warren County Commission meeting on Oct. 19 at 6:30 p.m., commissioners can vote to accept the list or reject it. Chairmanship of those committees will be decided by its members, once the list is approved.