Wed., March 12, 2014 | NEWS
Is Polk County government cancelled?
Only half of governing committee meetings held
Gregg Westigard | Staff writer
BALSAM LAKE – “Canceled” is the common word this year on the Polk County calendar listing committee meetings. Only five of the ten possible meetings of the county board’s governing committees were held in January and February.
Already for March, four committee meetings have been cancelled and two more committees did not schedule meetings. That leaves two committee meetings held in March and two more still scheduled for the end of the month. The pattern of meetings in 2013 was similar.
Polk County has 10 governing committees that oversee the activities of the county departments and review issues that may be forwarded to the monthly meetings of the county board. Each county board member is a member of two committees.
Three committees, finance, highway, and the Golden Age Manor board have not met since December. The GAM board does have a meeting set for March 25. The human services board met once in January and has a March meeting scheduled. Personnel, the board of health, and public protection have each held one meeting in 2014 with no March meetings on the calendar. Land conservation met in January and February but not in March.
That leaves two governing committees that have been active this year, Property and land information. Property has met monthly in 2014 and is one of three committees that also met monthly in 2013. The other active committee, Land information, has been overseeing the zoning ordinance revision and reviews other land use issues. The committee has met four times so far this year and held 15 meetings in 2013.
The human services board also met monthly in 2013 and two committees, public protection and the board of health, held 11 meetings. Rounding out the 2013 meeting count, finance met 10 times, personnel nine, land conservation eight, highway seven, and the GAB board six times.
The new 15-member Polk County board will organize in mid-April. One of its first duties will be to decide on a new governing committee structure, including how many committees to establish and how many committee assignments each supervisor will have. With more than half the 2014 meetings cancelled or not scheduled, the supervisors may be starting that restructure already.