River Road RSID irrigation board created
By Kyle Vuille
Ranger-Review Staff Writer
Formation of the River Road RSID irrigation system moved forward last week, as residents of River Road took the first steps in creating a board to oversee the RSID project.
River Road residents met with the county planner Forrest Sanderson last Wednesday. The River Road RSID board was formed at the recommendation of Sanderson.
Bill LaBree, who has been involved in the project since talk of the irrigation system was first ignited, was elected chairman. Attendees nominated Mike Mills as the secretary.
Sanderson also suggested a vice chairman be picked in case LaBree is unable to make a meeting or has a conflict of interest about a particular matter.
Sanderson asked if the attendees if they wanted to stand as a quasi-judicial board or be a committee that reports back to the county with suggestions but with no authority to have a final vote on any matter.
Those in attendance were all for being a quasi-judicial body, in which case, they would have the authority to set variances and set rates for the RSID.
Sanderson noted that strong bylaws, policies and procedures must be put in place or board members could face legal ramifications if those bylaws and polices are not put into place.
He said the board must set up meeting times, dates, locations, agendas and have a clerk to record minutes of those minutes. He added there should be a time limit set on public comment.
“Meetings should never go idle,” Sanderson said. “The board should meet three or four times a year regardless if there’s nothing going on, even if it’s just for public comment.”
Discussions then turned to how the board would vote on matters, either by quorum or voting by majority, bringing up the issue of how many voting members should be on the board.
“I would recommend a board of seven so four votes can carry,” Sanderson said.
He said the board could do five members and three votes carrying, but a bigger voting majority looks more defensible, noting he has seen in the past five-member boards becoming clique-ish or slanted with conflicts of interest.
LaBree questioned how board members would be appointed and how long would their terms run.
Sanderson said it would be up to the county commissioners to appoint board members and determine the length of their terms. He added having the different terms for the chairman and secretary is necessary to create continuous leadership throughout the process.
County commissioners can appoint an ex-officio to report back to the county about the board’s business.
No further decisions on who will serve on the board and the size of the board were made.
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