County to monitor advisory committee’s performance

Published 6:08 pm Sunday, September 7, 2014

WINTON – At their Tuesday meeting, postponed a day due to the Labor Day holiday, the Hertford County Board of Commissioners approved five reappointments to the county’s 10-member Nursing Home/Adult Care Community Advisory Committee and made five new appointments to the Committee from applications that had been received.

The committee is part of the Mideast Commission Area Agency on Aging.

Reappointed to the Committee, formerly the Joint Community Advisory Committee, were Jeri Pierce, Orlanda Reed, Westelle Cherry, Sandra Stephenson, and Yvonne Brown.

Appointed to the Committee will be June Warren, Emy Winstead, Melanie H. Storey, Michael Allen, and Porsha Watford.  Four previous committee members resigned and there was one vacancy to fill.

The committee meets quarterly on the fourth Monday of the months of January, April, July, and October.

Following the unanimous approval of the 10 appointees, Commissioner Ronald D. Gatling inquired if there were qualifications as to the duties of the committee members.

County Manager Loria Williams also broached the subject of travel re-imbursement for the committee members, which had been discussed at an earlier meeting.

“We discussed the possibility of providing some travel re-imbursement,” Williams said. “What I’d like to do is get the letters out advising them of the formal appointment, and then I’d like to get with Ms. Tameka Riggsbee who is the ombudsman that works with the group so we could come up with a format basically, and I’m sure we have (a form) in house that documents when they go and what their mileage is.”

Williams suggested the Commissioners extend the county’s mileage rate of $.48 per mile and then have the members submit documentation for re-imbursement.

“Hopefully this will not only be an incentive, but also let them know that we know it takes time and energy to do the work,” Williams said.

The county manager also suggested creation of a spreadsheet not just for the advisory board but for every committee that the commissioners make appointments as a form of accountability to their committee by-laws as well as the Commissioners’ policy as to performance.

“So that it’s not brought to our attention that people are not doing what they should be doing,” Williams contended. “This spreadsheet will look at attendance, who’s doing what they’re supposed to and so we can stay on top of the responsibilities that we have delegated to certain boards to do certain things for us.”

Commissioner Johnny Ray Farmer inquired about the training of board members.

“So they don’t just walk into meetings, say ‘hi & good-bye’, and think they’ve fulfilled their responsibilities,” Farmer maintained. “There are responsibilities explained out in the statutes, and they need someone to explain to them what those responsibilities are.”

Williams said she will emphasize to the Mideast Commission to provide information on what their training curriculum involves and the required hours of the appointees and what materials are being used.

“When we did the gathering of information the training was a little non-specific as to what they were using as training materials and as training hours,” Williams said. “It is important that we get them trained up front with the right materials, so we’ll keep you informed and I will bring you back a report in the next month or so after we get them situated.”

Commissioner Curtis Freeman suggested having a representative of the group give a monthly report.

“We’ve had a lot of problems with this,” Freeman pointed out. “We need to have someone come in and give us an update because you’re talking about lives and well-being.”

Pierce and Reed were suggested for the report to the Commissioners due to their attendance.

“Hopefully we can get them organized better this time, get them to elect a chairman and a vice-chairman and get them working in a way the statute requires them to for this pretty important task,” Williams said.

Commission chairman William Mitchell suggested this was the best time to implement these recommendations, especially with new members coming on board.