Roll Call Pro delay and commission size discussed during Rules and Bylaws

Published 9:33 am Monday, December 9, 2019

Ahead of the implementation of the new Roll Call Pro system for the county commission, the Rules and Bylaws Committee unanimously voted to set aside $5,000 towards the purchase of tablets which to utilize the new system.

Randall Jenkins said an issue with the purchase order slightly delayed the new system’s arrival, so it will most likely not make an appearance for December’s commission meeting.

“It will not make it before full commission this month,” Jenkins said. “But that is happening. We just had a little set-back.”

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When it comes time to implement the new system, the committee said a brief training session will be necessary so the rest of the commission knows how to use it.

“I would suggest, when we finally get it installed, that the full commission meets 30 to 45 minutes prior,” Jenkins said. “Those first couple of meetings, even with Roll Call Pro, we had some speed bumps we hit. We are just going to roll with it.”

The committee agreed the new system will work a lot better with touch screen interfaces as opposed to the clickers they have previously used.

The committee spoke again about the possibility of reducing the commission size from 24 to 16, specifically the formation of a committee to oversee the process.

“I probably need to reach out to other groups in the county,” Jenkins said.

These groups would include the Planning and Election Commissions, among others.

He said the pace of progress on this issue has not been because of negligence.

“We still have time, but I am not going to let this sneak up on us,” he said.

Commissioners spoke about the proposed composition of such committee, and how many commissioners should serve on it.

“It seems it would be prudent of this committee to lay some groundwork before you open this up to the community,” Mike Hill said.

Ginger Holdren said bringing in too many members from the general public might be a mistake.

“I feel like without experience, the public is going to be 90 percent for a smaller commission, but they do not know the workload,” Holdren said. “I would be hesitant.”

Austin Jaynes suggested doing something similar to the roundtable conversations with the city of Elizabethton: putting one commissioner from each district on it.

Jenkins said that already makes eight members, and any more “will make it a cluster.”

The conversation will continue during next month’s meeting.