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Brooks Trying to Resurrect County Manager

Brooks is trying to resurrect the County Manager (Streamline) and will discuss draft bylaws (copied below) at Monday's meeting. Here is my email to the BOCC:

Dear Commissioners,

I have reviewed a copy of the of the DRAFT OFG Study Commission Bylaws (Draft Bylaws) attached and would comment on same. As Chairman of the KCRCC and the Idaho Republican Party Rules Committee I have considerable experience in the practical application of bylaws as implemented to accomplish specific objectives.

I have come away from a review of the Draft Bylaws with more questions than answers. These questions, in no particular order, include:

Bylaws should specify the operational parameters of the organization they are establishing. For example: What is the term of the commission? Who are the members? What happens if a member resigns? What are the officers and their duties? A "Board of Directors" is mentioned, who are they and how are the chosen? Minutes are specified but who is assigned the responsibility to take and record them? Where are the minutes posted? What is considered notice? etc. What are the rules of procedure? Can the Bylaws be amended? If so, how? What happens if the bylaws conflict with law? The Mission Statement specifies that a comparison of forms of government be compared. By what parameters should the forms be compared? Efficiency? Cost? Service? Weight? A quorum is only 5 members and a majority (3) of members present is all that is needed to pass. Is it a good idea for the final product to potentially be approved by the three members appointed by a single commissioner? Where is the statutory authority to establish and grant powers to the study commission? Where is the statutory authority that allows an un-elected study commission to place an alternate form of government on any ballot? Are other commissions established by other elected officials free to place items on the ballot as well? The Objectives(39) directly conflict with the Mission Statement(3) as the Objectives specifies one specific form of government as the "Objective" whereas the Mission Statement does not allow for this bias. How would the committee reconcile this bias? The Responsibilities(68) seems completely out of place. Is the County Manager a position on the commission? Is it presaging the findings of the commission? The section on Directors(84) does not discuss directors. What is a director? For reimbursement, what are "nominal" expenses? What is the final work product of the commission? What happens after the final work product is delivered? Do the members of the commission have any legal or civil tort exposure as a result of serving on the commission? What conflicts of interest are prohibited? Allowed? "Dissolution(112)" discusses monies and equipment. What monies and what equipment?

There are more, but I will stop as you must appreciate my point by now.

It is clear, especially considering the Objectives and Responsibilities sections, that the intent of the Study Commission is to place on the ballot and alternate form of county government utilizing the County Manager who "would hire and fire the county coroner, sheriff, clerk, assessor, prosecuting attorney and treasurer. Hiring professionals to do the financial, law enforcement and other work county government roles would provide experienced professional-technical people who aren't running the departments based on politics. Instead, they are hired based on their expertise in each field." It is also clear from the "Elected County Commissioners or other officials shall not intercede or make changes" language that this commission is intended to provide some measure of political cover. It will not, because the commission itself would be a child of the BOCC.

Given the Draft Bylaws, I could accomplish the apparent objective in two meetings and within one day. In the first meeting I would get myself or an ally elected to the chairman position. As soon as the room cleared I would then get 4 others (two of which share my goal) to call for a special meeting to be held immediately (at any time). I would then move that we adopt the County Manager form of government and place it on the ballot. It would be seconded and the 3 of us (presumably, but not necessarily, appointed by the same commissioner) in the majority would vote to pass the motion. Motion to adjourn. DONE.

Obviously I am not suggesting that this actually happen, but it is entirely possible using the bylaws as drafted.

It is my strong opinion that the commissioners should not be under the misconception that forming this "Study Commission" would in any way absolve them of the political consequences of trying to implement, once again, the highly unpopular County Manager form of government and eliminating six elected positions. The voters are fond of being able to hold their county officials accountable.

Finally, the paragraph headed Responsibilities(68) could be read as an accusation that our county coroner, sheriff, clerk, assessor, prosecuting attorney and treasurer somehow lack the experience needed and are "running the departments based on politics" rather than "based on their expertise in each field." I do not believe this to be your opinion and would highly recommend you reword this section. -- Regards Brent Regan Chairman KCRCC

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