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Committee to explore change in size for commission

During their Oct. 1 meeting, Committee on Committees members approved several recommendations for appointments to statutory committees and community boards, in addition to taking the first steps toward recommending a new size for the Washington County Commission.
The following appointments will be recommended to the full commission during the October meeting:
Agricultural Extension Committee — Commissioners Mike Ford, Steve Light, Greg Matherly;
Audit Committee — Commissioners Rick Storey and Joe Wise, and community members Paige Carter, Dwight Ferguson and Odie Major;
Beer Board — Commissioners Katie Baker, Bryan Davenport, Larry England, Greg Matherly, Joe Wise;
Board of Zoning Appeals — Ted Lynch, Commissioner Skip Oldham, Wayne Rupert, with Brian Horton to be added in November;
Committee for Resale of Land — Commissioners Lee Chase, Bryan Davenport, Mark Larkey, Greg Matherly;
County Board of Health — Commissioner Katie Baker;
County Library Board — Commissioner Joe Grandy;
Investment Committee — Commissioners Tom Krieger, David Tomita, Joe Wise.
Members also discussed appointing a Reapportionment Committee to make recommendations on the revised representation that would be required if the county commission is reduced.
Reapportionment is the distribution of the county legislative body so that its members represent equal populations. Federal and state laws mandate reapportionment and redistricting every 10 years following the publication of the new population summary tables from the U.S. Census. The redistricting process uses the Census data to adjust or redraw the county commission political boundaries to equalize the districts’ populations. By law, the minimum number of commissioners per county is nine, and the maximum is 25. The minimum number of districts per county is three, with a maximum of 25. Washington County’s last redistricting was in 2012, and commissioners voted to remain at the maximum 25 members. The number of districts was increased from nine to 10.Commission Chair Greg Matherly suggested the Committee on Committees first speak with the county attorney to determine if action can be taken during a 10-year cycle. Even if possible, no changes in commission size are expected before the next county election in 2018.
“It seems to me that the Committee on Committees needs to make a recommendation on the number of commissioners,” Commissioner Lee Chase said.
Commissioner Joe Grandy agreed. “We basically have to choose the number first and not involve other variables,” he said.
The following commissioners will be recommended for the Reapportionment Committee:
1st District – Greg Matherly; 2nd District – Skip Oldham; 3rd District – Joe Wise; 4th District – Lee Chase; 5th District – Gary McAllister; 6th District – Joe Grandy; 7th District – Mark Larkey; 8th District – Matthew Morris; 9th District – Todd Hensley; 10th District – Forrest Boreing; and member at-large – Robbie Tester.