Developers hammer out bylaws
Election planned for chairman, vice chairman
Marion County Economic Development Council met June 16 in Goessel with Goessel City Clerk and council secretary Anita Goertzen calling the meeting to order — a task previously held by County Economic Development Director Teresa Huffman.
At the May 19 meeting, with the blessing of Marion County Commission, Huffman had resigned from the council, leaving the council without a chairman.
However, the commission later decided it was important for Huffman to continue to attend the development council meetings and assist as necessary.
Although no decisions were made at the June 16 meeting and there was little discussion associated with economic development, strides were made in determining bylaws for the group.
An article in the bylaws that previously caused dissention among community members was the article regarding how many voting representatives there would be from each community. Currently, the larger the community, the more voting representatives it is allowed.
Members of some of the smaller communities believed it was unfair, while representatives of larger communities didn’t think it was an issue.
However at the June 16 meeting, those in attendance agreed that two representatives from each community would be acceptable. There were 10 voting members at the meeting — six from Hillsboro, two from Goessel, and one each from Burns and Florence.
Committees composed of council members make decisions and announce those decisions at the monthly council meetings.
Hillsboro representative and economic development professional Clint Seibel suggested committees make recommendations to the council.
“Committees don’t know the decisions other committees are making,” he said.
Non-voting members could be involved on committees to provide information and resources to the group.
Hillsboro representative Jim Elliott agreed.
“Economic development professionals could benefit from being on a committee but wouldn’t have to be on the board,” he said.
Hillsboro representative and City Administrator Larry Paine and Florence representative Trayce Warner volunteered to serve on a nominating committee to nominate a new chairman and vice chairman.
It was determined that the current secretary and treasurer, Goertzen and Goessel representative Peggy Jay, respectively, could continue in their current positions. Positions that needed to be filled were chairman and vice chairman.
Seibel asked if the positions could be filled by appointment to finish the year or if they had to be elected. Given the circumstances, Paine suggested there be a nominating committee and that officers be elected from the committee’s recommendation.
The 10 members also supported a change in the bylaws that would encourage the selection of a chairman from cities with fewer than 2,000 people for three consecutive years and then select a chairman from cities with at least 2,000 people for one year.
It was determined that Hillsboro was the only city with a population of at least 2,000. However, the bylaws committee indicated the intent was to have Marion included with Hillsboro as a larger city.
Hillsboro representative and City Administrator Larry Paine said he had seen cases where this had worked.
Other discussion items:
- The council would like to be more involved in the county’s development plan.
- The mission statement that is on the monthly agenda should be adopted and reviewed on an annual basis.
- The mayors will be asked to submit appointments in writing to the chairman.
- Huffman agreed to continue to maintain records related to the council and Leadership Marion County.
- Updates for the council’s Web site will go through the marketing committee instead of the chairman or Huffman.
The bylaws will be reviewed at a July 21 meeting at Burns.