Fiscal court, city commission determine EDP board members

Published 8:37 am Thursday, October 12, 2017

The Danville City Commission and the Boyle County Fiscal Court have gone in separate ways when determining who would sit on the Economic Development Partnership board of directors on behalf of the two agencies.

The EDP voted last month to restructure its board, adding voting members from the Boyle County Fiscal Court, the Boyle County Industrial Foundation, the Danville City Commission and other agencies. 

The new board is scheduled to meet on Oct. 18.

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Junction City and Perryville will each have one seat; there will be three seats chosen by private “Chairman’s Circle” donors; and the appointed members will choose three at-large members from the community. All seats, except the at-large seats, are contingent upon the partner agency contributing financially to the EDP. 

Tuesday morning, the Boyle County Fiscal Court approved filling their three positions with Judge-Executive Harold McKinney; community member David Maynard with Community Trust Bank; and one more person.

Magistrates approved the decision quickly and unanimously. McKinney encouraged magistrates to give him names as soon as possible.

On Monday night, the City Commission opted to appoint City Manager Ron Scott, Mayor Mike Perros and Commissioner Denise Terry to the board.

“There is a divergence of opinion as to the composition of that,” said Perros, kicking off the discussion. “I think maybe the way to start the discussion on it is to delineate, by majority vote, if we want to be all city commissioners or city representatives, or if we want some outside citizen input.”

City Attorney Stephen Dexter pointed out that when the negotiations were conducted for the representation on the EDP board, the idea was for those individuals to “in fact, be city elected officials or staff.”

“It was contemplated that it would be city manager, mayor and one other commissioner, and it would be tied to your term in office,” he said. “The idea was you would have people in the city invested in the EDP.”

Those people, he said, would report back to the city.

“The idea was that the body itself would gain seats … It was not perceived, when negotiated, that you would appoint others who are not elected officials or city manager,” Dexter said.

Once the board is in place, there will be at-large seats appointed from community members, pointed out Commissioner Denise Terry.

“That’s precisely it,” said Dexter. “You have people who sit at the table who are actually decision makers.”

Commissioner J.H. Atkins proposed they appoint one city elected official, one city staff person and one private resident.

“I still think it’s important for us, at every opportunity we get, to include citizens in the decision-making process,” Atkins said.

Dexter pointed out that the 17-member board would have several private citizens, including the at-large seats, which are appointed by the other board members.

“The goal and the study indicated that you should increase governmental input on the board. If you do, in fact, choose a private citizen, you are watering down your influence and role in the partnership,” he said.

Commissioner Greg Caudill said he initially agreed with Atkins, but after hearing Dexter’s explanation, felt it was better to include the city manager, mayor and one commissioner.

Atkins also encouraged his fellow commissioners to look for an opportunity to encourage diversity on the board.

“Inclusion and diversity has to be an important part of this … You all have seen the list of folks that have been appointed thus far. Let’s not miss the opportunity as a city to put some diversity in,” he said.

“It’s a fair point and a valid point, no doubt,” Perros said.

Dexter said it would be important to remember when the board makes its proposals for the at-large members.

Commissioner Rick Serres, Caudill and Terry approved the vote; Atkins abstained.

After the meeting, Atkins said he abstained, not because he had a problem with Terry, but because he felt they should have put a citizen in that open spot.

“I didn’t want to vote ‘No.’ I like what we did. I just saw it as another opportunity to get someone from the community to represent us,” Atkins said.