I had a very nice surprise conference call with Hamblen County Commission Chair Stancil Ford and County Mayor David Purkey early this morning.
Stancil initiated the call, but Mayor Purkey was on the line as well.
Stancil said that the two of them had been studying commission operations and the way appointments are made to boards and commissions and they have decided to adopt some suggestions that I have made over the years in order to be more open and citizen-friendly. I listened.
Two of the changes that Stancil and David are proposing are:
1) Stancil said that Committee meetings will begin at 5:00 PM--just like commission meetings--instead of the current 11:30 AM. Stancil said that he had finally realized that having committee meetings at 11:30 AM shuts out the citizens of Hamblen County who want to hear the discussions and have input but have to work for a living. I thanked him.
2) David then said that he was going to propose time or term-limits for people who serve on boards and commissions in Hamblen County.
David said that Stancil and he had finally realized that the same people do not need to be appointed over and over to the same board and do not need to serve on 3-4 boards at the same time. They thought the Commission would go along with their idea. I thanked them.
It was a good conversation and I think they had some other ideas to share with me, but I didn't have time to listen.
In my best Stancil imitation, I banged the phone/gavel down and growled/shouted "Your three minutes are up!"
UPDATE: To all who e-mailed or called to tell me how pleased you are about this change of heart/policy by Stancil and David. Sorry, there hasn't been even the slightest change of heart by either one. It's April 1st and you just got pranked!