Supervisors want to be more transparent

Proposals include agendas coming out earlier and containing more information

The Chickasaw County Board of Supervisors is considering ways to make the county governing process more efficient while still maintaining transparency to the public.

The supervisors listened to proposals on last Monday afternoon from human resources consultant Paul Greufe concerning changes to how board meetings are conducted and how agendas are made public.

“I’m just going to tell you how we’ve done things in other counties I’ve worked with,” said Greufe, who presented several possible changes for the board to consider and made some recommendations.

Greufe mentioned that in Scott County, the supervisors would meet every other Tuesday at 8 a.m. for a meeting which involved no voting, only discussion. The board would review all the agenda items, then on the Thursday evening that same week at 5:30 p.m., they would vote on the items.

“The voting meeting would literally only take about 10 minutes, because they’d already had all their discussion at the previous meeting,” Greufe said. “Then they do it all again in two weeks.”

Typically, the Chickasaw County Board of Supervisors meets once a week on Monday morning, and the meeting can last anywhere from 2-7 hours, and sometimes agenda items are pushed to Tuesday mornings because the board can’t get everything in on Mondays.

The agenda for the Chickasaw County board is typically made public Friday afternoons. Greufe suggested that the board change that routine, and mentioned other counties where agenda items are broken up into five different categories — facilities and economic development, human resources, health and community services, finance and intergovernmental, and other items of interest. Greufe said that if Chickasaw County did this, it would require agenda items be presented in written form to the board secretary by Wednesdays at noon, and the agenda would be given to the supervisors and the public on Wednesday afternoon. The agenda items would also include more complete information. Currently the board agendas have a bare minimum of information.

Greufe said that with the proposed change, the supervisors would have four days to review all the background information, and the information would be available to the public.

“You get a system in place, and it’s a much better use of your time,” said Greufe. “It would make for much more streamlined meetings, and the supervisors would be much better informed when the meeting starts.”

 

For more of this article, see Tuesday's New Hampton Tribune or Thursday's Nashua Reporter.

New Hampton Tribune

10 North Chestnut Ave
New Hampton, IA 50659
Phone: (641) 394-2111
Email: tribune@nhtrib.com

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