Industrial Development Board discusses meeting frequency, attendance during Thursday meeting

Published 8:05 am Friday, February 8, 2019

The Industrial Development Board meeting Thursday morning had few items on their agenda to discuss, but the absence of three of its members brought back the recurring conversation about attendance and possibly changing their meeting frequency.

Chair of the committee Phil Isaacs said this has been a recurring discussion for the past several years.

“There are not always items to vote on, so people do not always attend the meetings,” Isaacs said.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The board, which currently contains nine members, meets monthly at the Mayor’s Conference Room from 9 to 10 a.m.

With the lack of items to formally vote on, he said some members simply make other plans that day unless they know something will come up.

Isaacs said many board members are business owners in their own right and have other schedules to maintain.

A lack of attendance, however, can pose a problem when something unexpected does reach the board. In order to officially vote on a particular action or request, there must be a “quorum,” or a majority of the board, in attendance. In the Industrial Development Board’s case, they need at minimum five members at the meeting.

Changing the meeting frequency is a different case entirely, however, because in order to be in compliance with regulations, meeting times must be scheduled in advance as well as stated within the board’s bylaws.

“In order to change our bylaws so we can meet quarterly, we need at least three-fourths of the board in attendance to vote on it, which means seven of us,” Isaacs said. “At that point, the motion is brought before the full commission, who approves the change.”

In Thursday’s meeting, only six board members were in attendance, including Isaacs and not including County Mayor Russell Barnett, meaning the board had to push back the vote to change the bylaws another month.

“I think most members are on board with this change,” Isaacs said.

Even when there are few or no items to officially vote on during their meetings, and even when the meetings do not run the full scheduled hour, Isaacs said the work the board does is vital to the Carter County community.

“We review any industrial and economic projects and incentivize them to come here,” he said. “We are here to support industrial and economic development in the community as a whole.”