Meeting times may change for pair of county boards
Published 4:51 pm Tuesday, April 12, 2022
GATESVILLE – The traditional meeting times and dates of the Gates County Planning Board and the Board of Adjustment may change.
At their most recent regularly scheduled meeting, the Gates County Board of Commissioners discussed an agenda item dealing with the meeting times of the county’s Planning Board and Board of Adjustment. The members of those two boards are appointed by the commissioners. They currently meet on the third Tuesday of the month at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. That particular day and the meeting times were established by the county commissioners.
At the March 16 commissioners meeting, Board Chair Dr. Althea Riddick said state statutes do allow boards appointed by the commissioners to establish their own meeting dates and times rather than having that assigned to them. She referenced the county’s Agricultural Advisory Board has previously set their meeting dates and times.
According to Gates County Code, if such action is taken – to allow a board appointed by the commissioners to set their meeting dates and times – it would require an ordinance amendment.
“I recommend for this board’s consideration to amend the county Code to allow the Planning Board and the Board of Adjustment to establish their own meeting date and time, as is the case with the county’s Agricultural Advisory Board, so we will have consistency within the county Code,” Riddick stated. “Should the [Commissioners] continue to assign the meeting times and dates of the Board of Adjustment and the Planning Board, I would recommend to confirm with the chair of each of those boards prior to any Code changes for their input on behalf of their respective board.”
Riddick added that according to county Code, a public hearing is required to be conducted in the event that an appointed board wishes to change their meeting date and time.
Commissioner Ray Freeman said those boards need to keep in mind that their meeting time and date needs to be convenient to the citizens of the county if they desire to attend.
“I would recommend having the chair of each of those boards meet with us to discuss that,” Freeman said.
“We also need to consider those who have applications for those boards to discuss, we need to make the meeting time convenient for them as well,” said Commissioner Linda Hofler. “We need to have a public hearing [on this issue].”
“We need to be fair to all involved – the public and the members of those boards,” stated Lisa Cherry, Gates County’s Planning Director. “We can poll the members of the Planning Board and the Board of Adjustment to get their feedback on this.”
Hofler suggested to her colleagues to wait until their May meeting to hear back from the Planning Board and Board of Adjustment as to how they wish to proceed with this issue.
Hofler put her suggestion into a motion, which was approved by the commissioners without objection.