TUSCUMBIA — David Black would like to know more about the people he will be voting on to represent the county on various boards.
The new District 2 commissioner said he will offer a proposal that would involve alerting the public of board vacancies and an application form that would provide commissioners with more information about the person they could be appointing.
Several board appointments came up for a vote at a recent commission meeting, but Black said he didn’t know anything about the individuals.
When there are vacancies on county boards, commissioners are asked to nominate candidates, usually someone from the district they represent.
Black said he would like to see board vacancies publicized more so the opportunity to serve is open to more people. He said his intention is to make the process more open, fair and equitable.
The Lauderdale County Commission has an application process to select board members.
“Anyone can come and apply for any boards in the county,” Lauderdale County Administrator Brenda Bryant said.
Sometimes people send letters indicating they would like to serve on the board and Bryant will send them an application.
“Once there are openings on the boards, the commission will review the applications and make recommendations,” Bryant said.
Franklin County does not have an application process.
“If we have an opening available, we usually talk with other board members to see if they have any suggestions and then if there are suggestions from the commissioners about possible nominations for the board appointments, we’ll entertain those also,” Franklin County Commission Chairman Barry Moore said. “We’ll look at all possibilities before an appointment is made.”
Muscle Shoals, Sheffield, Tuscumbia and Florence have an application process. Applications can be printed from the Muscle Shoals and Sheffield websites.
Muscle Shoals Mayor David Bradford said board openings are announced at council meetings two weeks in advance of appointments. Applications are accepted during those two weeks.
“Then we go through an interview process,” Bradford said. “Then it comes down to the actual appointment after that interview process at the next council meeting.”
Sheffield Mayor Ian Sanford said board openings are announced during council meetings and in local news publications. He said the city tries to maintain a two-term limit on board service, unless the board is working on a major project.
“We think it’s important to get different people involved,” Sanford said.
If board appointments are based on districts, council members in that district will bring nominees to the council to vote on, Sanford said.
Florence board openings are announced during council meetings and are noted on agendas, which are available on the city’s website. Candidates may came to the mayor’s office to fill out an application form, city spokesman Phil Stevenson said. Applications are reviewed by the appropriate council subcommittee or a council member.
Colbert commissioner Jimmy Gardiner said he’s willing to listen to Black’s proposal.
“We’ve been very fortunate on the boards we do appoint to have great people who have stepped forward in the past to serve,” Gardiner said. “It’s a good idea to at least try to do a better job of getting the word out about potential openings.”
Black said he’d like to see more accountability on the part of board members, particularly in the area of attendance.
Russ Corey can be reached at 256-740-5738 or russ.corey@TimesDaily.com.
Senior Writer Tom Smith contributed to this report.