Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to right sidebar Skip to footer

Is Ferguson chairman?

Washington County Commissioner Mark Ferguson did most of the talking during the annual Committee on Committees meeting Aug. 19.
The primary role of this body, whose members were elected during the July commission meeting, is to appoint commissioners to the standing committees for 2013-14.
Significance of committee membership comes from the structure of the Washington County Commission, which only considers recommendations that are first adopted by a committee majority. Exceptions cannot be made without a vote to suspend the rules.
Ferguson called last week’s meeting to order and appeared to serve as the committee chairman.
He wasn’t given that role by the commission during the July election because two other members also received 15 votes, and no formal election of officers was held during the called Committee on Committees meeting last week.
However, fellow committee members Doyle Cloyd, Sam Humphreys, Richard Matherly and Gearld Sparks made no objections.
Ferguson said an email was sent to commissioners with a request for the three committees they would be interested in serving on. Information was provided through emails, telephone calls and verbal discussions, though he said several didn’t respond.
Ferguson then distributed a list with the commissioners’ requests accompanied by a breakdown of the five-member committees to which he had assigned them.
“I tried to put people where they wanted,” he said. “Some got all three, some only wanted two.”
According to Ferguson’s list, the commissioners who submitted no preferences were George “Skip” Oldham, David Tomita, Ethan Flynn, Ken Lyon, Pat Wolfe and Mike Ford.
Ferguson said eight or nine commissioners asked to serve on the Public Works Committee, and several requests were also received for the Commercial, Industrial and Agricultural Committee.
“We can’t place everyone, it happens every year,” he added.
“I tried to accommodate commissioners who wanted to stay where they were.”
Prohibiting input and fresh ideas from different voices is what has led to some committees becoming motivated by personal and political agendas rather than the business of Washington County, according to Mayor Dan Eldridge.
Eldridge even made a plea for a different membership on the Committee on Committees, but the same commissioners were elected for the fourth consecutive year.
According to the information distributed last week, Ferguson assigned himself and Cloyd to the County-Owned Property Committee for the fourth consecutive year. Joining them for the third consecutive year are Alpha Bridger and Joe Sheffield. Commissioner Phyllis Corso is a new member.
Ferguson and Commissioner David Shanks will be serving their fourth consecutive year on the CIA Committee. Joining them for the third consecutive year are Bridger and Commissioner Sam Phillips. Commissioner Steve Light is the fifth member.
Commissioners Joe Grandy, Mitch Meredith and Lee Chase requested to serve on County-Owned Property, but none made the cut. Meredith also was turned down for CIA.
Ferguson will be a new member on the Public Works Committee. Returning to Public Works for the fourth consecutive year are Cloyd and Richard Matherly. Other newcomers are Humphreys and Commissioner Roger Nave.
Commissioners turned down for Public Works are Pete Speropulos and Grandy.
Returning to the Zoning Administration Oversight Committee for the fourth consecutive year are Greg Matherly and Richard Matherly. Speropulos, currently the chair, was dropped from the committee though he requested a fourth consecutive year. Meredith was once again rejected. New members are Light, Sparks and Commissioner Ben Bowman.
Solid Waste Committee members serving for the fourth consecutive year are Shanks and Richard Matherly. Grandy is serving his second year, joined by newcomers Oldham and Tomita.
Nave, Phillips and Speropulos are returning to the Public Safety Committee for the fourth consecutive year. Ford will be serving his third year, while Bowman is a new member.
The General Health and Welfare Committee will be made up of Wolfe, who will be serving his fourth year, and Bowman, serving his second. Completing the committee are Shanks, Speropulos and Meredith.
Returning for the fourth consecutive year to the Rules Committee are Chase and Nave. Sparks is serving his third year, with Corso and Humphreys as new members.
Chase will serve his fourth consecutive year and Larkey will serve his third on the Education Committee, which now meets with representatives from the school board. Grandy, Flynn and Lyon are also proposed appointees.
Cloyd and Greg Matherly are the only members returning for a second year on the Legal Services Oversight Committee, which was created during 2012. Larkey requested a second year, but was dropped. New members are Corso, Light and Bridger.
After reviewing his assignment list, Ferguson made a motion to approve it as presented. Richard Matherly seconded the motion, which passed unanimously with no questions or comments.
The full commission was expected to consider the recommendations on Aug. 26.