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Commission okays changes to FCWSA selection process

After some initial questions and concerns were satisfied, the Franklin County Commission approved an overhaul of the way the Franklin County Water Service Authority elects its board of directors at the commission's Monday morning meeting.

By unanimous vote, commissioners approved the changes that were requested by Doug Aaron, executive director of the FCWSA. Essentially, the changes come in who nominates and selects board members. The nine-member Water Service Board will now be selected as follows:

One member chosen by the Franklin County Fire Association; one by the local Senator and one by the local Representative; two by the Franklin County Commission; one by each of the water systems who purchase more than 50 percent of their annual water budget from the FCWSA, those being Vina and Hackleburg. Two board members shall be appointed by the board itself, marking a change in board policy.

All board appointees must be Franklin County residents and/or from the FCWSA service area.
Aaron told commissioners the goal was to find “responsible, active board members” to allow the board to have a quorum at its meetings.

“I appreciate y'all looking at this for next week and appreciate your assistance and help in doing this,” Aaron told the commission at last week's work session.

Commissioner Jason Miller asked Aaron whether it was an apparent conflict of interest for the board to appoint two of its board members.

“I have a question about oversight if you're appointing your own members. I'm concerned about the public perception to self-appointing a board,” Miller said.

The changes also include annual election of officers for a yearly term beginning on October 1st of each calendar year to serve until the following October 1st and that a quorum be established with a minimum of four board members present at any meeting.

In other action, the commission:

-- hired Ovantae Graham as temporary corrections officer/dispatcher for the Franklin County Sheriff's Department, accepted the resignation of Deanna Saint and agreed to advertise for two vacant corrections officer/dispatcher positions.
-- approved the third weekend in July, from Friday to Sunday, for the the new “Back to School” Sales Tax Holiday.
-- approved Mark Holland as the probate judge's appointment to the Franklin County Industrial Development Board.

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