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Members nominated for county’s Legal Services Oversight Committee

In less than five minutes, members of the Washington County Committee on Committees nominated and approved a list of individuals to recommend for the new Legal Services Oversight Committee.
Commissioners serving on the Committee on Committees are Mark Ferguson, chair, Doyle Cloyd, Sam Humphreys, Richard Matherly and Gearld Sparks. Matherly was absent from the July 9 meeting.
The creation of a Legal Services Oversight Committee was approved during the May commission meeting for the purpose of implementing the private act related to the office of county attorney, which was recently approved by the General Assembly.
As a new standing committee, Legal Services Oversight will be made up of five commissioners, one of whom will be the commission chair.
The mayor and two additional county officials will serve as non-voting ex-officio members.
After Ferguson opened the floor for the remaining four commissioner nominations, Sparks nominated Mike Ford; Cloyd nominated Mark Larkey; Humphreys nominated George “Skip” Oldham; and Ferguson nominated Cloyd.
Commission Chair Greg Matherly and Cloyd serve the first commission district, with Ford and Larkey serving the seventh district, and Oldham serving the second district.
Ferguson then suggested the recommendation for officials include one who is elected to office and one who is appointed, and went on to nominate Property Assessor Scott Buckingham and Zoning Administrator Mike Rutherford.
Ferguson said he spoke with Buckingham and Rutherford, and both agreed to serve if elected. No other nominations for the seats were made.
A motion to approve the final list was made by Ferguson and seconded by Cloyd before passing unanimously.
There was no discussion of why the nominees were chosen or what particular experience or strength they would bring to the role of advising the county attorney.
During the May commission meeting, Mayor Dan Eldridge and several commissioners objected to a structure that has the county attorney reporting to the commission.
In addition, concern was expressed regarding the non-voting status of officials serving on the Legal Services Oversight Committee, which essentially places a public office under the direction of five commissioners.
The recommendation will be considered by the full commission this month.