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KCC outlines KH board appointment process

Posted: August 29, 2013 5:18 p.m.
Updated: August 30, 2013 5:00 a.m.

Kershaw County Council spent part of its meeting Tuesday evening outlining, in detail, the process it will follow to make appointments to the KershawHealth Board of Trustees.

Council Vice-Chairman Stephen Smoak said three questions that will be asked of each candidate have been provided to each council member.

“Those questions are identical to the three questions that were posed to the candidates for the hospital board one year ago,” Smoak said.

He added that the a “special-called meeting of Kershaw County Council to make those appointments” to the board will take part in a pair of separate sessions.

According to a memo from County Administrator Vic Carpenter, “Each applicant will be asked to make a presentation to (council) in open session at a work session on September 3, beginning at 5:30 p.m., at the government center.” Council will then ask each candidate the three questions. The candidates, in turn, will be given two minutes per question to answer.

The date of the follow-up meeting of council to actually select board members has not yet been determined.  Smoak explained that due to certain unforeseen circumstances, an official date had not been set.

“What this council voted was to vote on the hospital board members one week after the originally scheduled (meeting), when they come to make presentations before us, September 3, next Tuesday,” Smoak said. “That was what this council voted to do was to have the regularly scheduled meeting September 10, however, something has come up that is a business conflict that has prevented the chairman from being present at that meeting.”

Smoak said it was Chairman Gene Wise’s wish to be present at whatever meeting during which board members are voted on.

“It’s a matter of what the chairman decides to do as far as a special called [meeting], in default of that week we could just have it on the regular 10th meeting. That meeting hasn’t been cancelled as of yet,” Smoak said.

He further explained that the night’s meeting was not about setting a date for the second special-called meeting.

“This memorandum does not say when the special called meeting will take place; that’s not what we’re voting on,” Smoak said. “We’re voting on the process which involves notifying the applicants of the September 3 meeting.”

Smoak read aloud the details of Carpenter’s memo at Councilman Jimmy Jones’ request for further “clarification” of the appointment process.

“It’s going to consist of a letter that goes out to the applicants from Vic Carpenter thanking them for their application, informing them of their six year terms, informing them there have been 20 applications received … that one of the applications must be from the Buffalo township,” Smoak said, reading from the memo.

The actual number of applicants as of Thursday is 18, due to applicants Donna Laney of Flat Rock Township and James Robbins of Wateree Township withdrawing from consideration (see sidebar).

He then reiterated that each candidate would present to council and then be questioned by council.

“The applicants will be sequestered; they won’t be allowed to sit in here and hear what the questions are and what the other answers were,” Smoak said. “The meeting is open to the public and everyone has a right to attend. Lots will be used to determine the order of the presentation and they will be included in the packet that goes out.”

Even if a candidate is unable to attend Tuesday’s work session, he or she will still be eligible to serve on the board,” Smoak said, as long as their application was submitted on time. Smoak said no questions will be allowed from the general public.

Jones still had some concerns

“We haven’t talked to the chairman about these questions. These are the same questions we asked the last time. He may have something more up-to-date that he would like to implement into it,” Jones said. “I’m just uncomfortable with locking the questions in at this point in time, but you all are certainly welcome to take a vote, but you probably won’t have my support on it.”

Smoak responded that Chairman Wise was very familiar with the questions for candidates.

“He actually came up with these questions himself last year and then this council approved (them),” Smoak said. “I don’t think one member of council without the approval of everyone should have the ability to come up with whatever questions they want to come up with to suit their agenda. I think that’s why we’re all here, why it comes from seven of us … I don’t think Chairman Wise would have any objections to it. He’s had a chance to put in his input.”

Councilman Tom Gardner made a move to adopt the appointment process along with the questions; Councilman C.R. Miles seconded. Councilman Jones proposed an amendment to adopt the process but delete the questions so that Wise could be consulted upon his return.

No one offered to second Jones’ motion, killing it. Smoak then asked for any further discussion of Gardner’s original motion to adopt the process of appointment along with the questions and, hearing none, asked for the vote. It passed unanimously.

In other business, council:

• unanimously passed first reading of an ordinance establishing millage for the county;

• unanimously passed first reading of an amendment to the the county’s code of zoning in regards to towers, antennas and fall zones;

• did not pass a resolution seeking council’s support of a vision for the county’s pedestrian greenway plan, but did provide for an opportunity for it to be reconsidered at future meetings;

• unanimously passed a resolution declaring the intention of the county of reimburse itself for vehicle expenditures;

• unanimously approved a proposal for a GIS software agreement; and

• unanimously passed a resolution centralizing and consolidating printers.

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