In the past Stokes County Board of Commissioners have had the right to place an item on the regular meeting agenda to be discussed, but that may change in the near future.
Commissioner Ernest Lankford proposed the board be allowed to take an item off the agenda by a majority vote.
“I’m very much against this because putting this in here is going to marginalize anyone that may be on this board whose philosophies and beliefs are different,” said Commissioner Ronda Jones. “The next administration may be one republican and four democrats. That republican could constantly ask for something to be on the agenda and nothing be done. Also, there will be a marginalization on constituents that may want to be heard and may have a different philosophy. So I don’t see this as checks and balances. I see it as stifling the process.”
The rule of procedure was originally adopted in December of 2002 and since then has been amended four times.
“It can be modified again, whatever is the pleasure of the board,” said Board Chair Leon Inman.
Lankford said the procedures were put in place to manage the board.
“When we get the agenda it’s not official. It only becomes official when it’s voted on. If we add this the majority vote will be by the board,” he said.
Commissioner Jimmy Walker said he wasn’t targeting any particular person.
“I think it’s neutral. You can add something, but as Commissioner Lankford pointed out it is not an official agenda until three or more members say it is. It’s a draft agenda.”
Removing an item off the agenda was sparked at the July 11 meeting when the proposed resolution to support separation of church and state was presented.
Walker moved to approve the agenda with the removal of the proposed resolution and Lankford seconded the motion.
Inman requested advice from County Attorney Ty Browder, who noted there was no provision in the board rules of procedure to remove an item from the agenda.
“I don’t think it’s fair to the constituents to put something on unless it’s county business. I don’t see it as very transparent and I don’t like that,” Jones said.
The issue will be voted on at the next Stokes County Board of Commissioners meeting.
Amanda Dodson can be reached at 336-813-2426 or on Twitter at AmandaTDodson.