The Pulaski County Community Development Commission may be willing to give the county commissioners a chance to weigh in on prospective at-large members.
At-large members are appointed by the CDC itself, but during last week’s CDC meeting, Executive Director Nathan Origer proposed giving the commissioners a chance to review applicants and submit an objection in writing. “Few public employees get to pick their own bosses the way I do, and for the most part, it has worked,” he said. “But I just kind of feel as if, maybe, a heightened level of accountability would be in everyone’s interest right now.”
Specifically, Origer cited the recent issues between the CDC and the county council with putting together next year’s budget, as well as a past commissioner who seemed to think the CDC was too free-reign.
Origer stressed that the review would only apply to at-large seats, and the CDC members would still have the final say. “You don’t have too many offices where the commissions are overseeing a government, a public employee, where the county executive isn’t making those appointments,” he added. “Like on the plan commission, there are four statutory appointments and then five at-large residents, and the commissioners appoint them. They don’t self-select.”
The proposal drew a mixed reaction from CDC members. Some liked the appearance of added accountability, while others, like Doug Roth, didn’t think it would matter. “I don’t know if this is the right way to do it, but I think it’s a good goal,” Roth said.
The commissioners’ representative on the CDC, Kenny Becker, was not in attendance. In the end, CDC members agreed to let Origer write up a formal proposal for further consideration.