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Three meetings for two water board appointments

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SALYERSVILLE – After three meetings, the fiscal court has approved two new appointments to the county water board.

As a bit of a recap, in the November 13 Magoffin County Judge/Executive Dr. Charles Hardin motioned to appoint Jerry Borders and Johnie Green to the county water board, but the motion failed without a second. 

The following Sunday, Magistrate and soon-to-be Magoffin County Judge/Executive Matthew Wireman said he was reading through the Magoffin County Administrative Code, looking to see what may need updated by the next fiscal court, when he realized they had not taken enough action regarding Hardin’s motion.

According to the current Magoffin County Administrative Code, item 112.0 regarding the procedures for appointments to county boards and commissions, the judge/executive is to inform the fiscal court of any open positions and submit a nomination. If the fiscal court fails to act on the nomination within 15 days, the appointment is deemed approved by the fiscal court. If the court rejects the nominee, the judge is to submit additional nominations (not exceeding three per position), and if the fiscal court rejects all three, the judge/executive is to appoint a person to serve on a temporary basis, not exceeding one year. 

On November 21 Magistrates Wireman, Pernell “Buck” Lemaster and Darrel Ray Howard submitted a notice for a need for a special meeting, to be held on November 26. 

In that meeting, Hardin reiterated his nomination for Jerry Borders to complete the unexpired term of Millow Dean McCarty, who had resigned due to health reasons, with the term set to expire in 2021.

Wireman motioned to reject and his motion passed three-to-one, with Hardin voting against it. 

Hardin then gave them three names to be considered for the position: Jerry Helton, Homer Salisbury and Jerry Howard.

Wireman motioned to appoint Jerry Howard and the motion passed with all in favor except Lemaster.

Concerning Johnie Green’s nomination, Wireman motioned to reject the nomination, and Lemaster seconded it. After some discussion about the interpretation of the administrative code and the state statutes, the court failed to vote on that motion to reject.

County Attorney Greg Allen emphasized that the state law dictates that the board appointments are to be staggered, urging Hardin not to try to load the boards at the end of his term. He also said that, while it was specifically stated, he assumed the three additional nominees were to be taken individually, giving the court equal time to consider each one before moving to the next one. 

Hardin explained he was only trying to fill one full term, with Machelle Hardin’s term ending, and the other appointment was filling an unexpired term, and both were legal actions for him to take. 

After some back and forth between Hardin and Wireman, Hardin said, “If you don’t want to act on that, just say ‘motion to adjourn.’”

Wireman did just that, but then after the meeting realized they had not voted on his motion to reject, and they called another meeting for the next day.

In the November 27 meeting, Hardin said Johnie Green had withdrawn his name from consideration, and he nominated Jerry Borders for the four-year term. Lemaster seconded it and Wireman said he had talked to Borders since the last meeting and agreed to support his appointment to the board. The court unanimously approved the appointment.

After the meeting Wireman talked to Mortimer Media Group and said he had nothing against the individuals nominated, he just didn’t approve of the process. He stated he would be making recommendations for the next fiscal court to change the policy so the fiscal court must take actions for motions to be approved.

Regarding the appointments, Wireman said, “We could have had the same meeting every 14 days, but it’s not good for our community. I don’t want conflict, I want progress.”

The next regularly-scheduled fiscal court meeting is tentatively slated for December 27.
 

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