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Panel makes few changes to Godsey’s committee assignments

November 26th, 2013 11:08 pm by J. H. Osborne

Panel makes few changes to Godsey’s committee assignments

BLOUNTVILLE — What had the potential of becoming a brouhaha turned out to be much ado about nothing.

Some Sullivan County commissioners had in recent weeks taken Mayor Steve Godsey to task, publicly, about how and when committee assignments would be made for the rest of the current commission’s term.

All county commissioners,  as well as the county mayor,  are elected to four year terms.

 The next election is August 2014.

Usually, committee assignments are made from one fall to the next.

Godsey, following what has become accepted — for the most part — tradition, has each year during his two terms presented a list of committee assignments that he has developed.

The full commission has to vote on those assignments. And they usually have approved them as presented.

Godsey has said in the past he puts a lot of effort into development of the list, taking into consideration placement of commissioners based on their district location (to spread representation among different committees when possible), but also considering requests from individual commissioners.

Some commissioners prefer not to be assigned to this or that committee because it conflicts with church, work or school. Some commissioners like to be assigned to a committee with another commissioner so they can carpool to Blountville for meetings.

Some like to assigned to a particular committee because the subjects likely discussed and considered have a direct tie-in to an interest or life-experience of the commissioner.

But some commissioners have had some complaints, too. A running theme over the years has been “Budget Committee envy.” 

Members of the Executive and Administrative committees have regularly voiced discontent during the budget development process that they spend their time going over their committee’s assigned departmental accounts and funding requests — to make a recommendation, only, which the Budget Committee might or might not include in its budget proposal.

At least a couple of months ago, some commissioners began to push Godsey to give new committee assignments.

At the full commission’s meeting last week, Godsey presented a list but was questioned enough that he ultimately said he would  listen to whatever a committee on committees recommended — except on the Budget Committee, which he said state law gives him full authority over.

The Committee on Committees met for more than an hour Tuesday evening and changed nothing about the Budget Committee.

Otherwise, the group will recommend one major change to Godsey, who in turn will present it to the full commission: Commissioner Michael Surgenor will leave the Executive Committee and go to the Administrative Committee and Commissioner Ed Marsh will leave the Administrative Committee and go to the Executive Committee.

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