Better Governing Now » Commissioner Richardson Questions Rules of Procedure While Representing his Constituents


Commissioner Richardson Questions Rules of Procedure While Representing his Constituents

    On Monday night, February 2nd, 2015, at 5:00 PM, a Beaufort County commissioners' meeting was engaged, and promptly went in to discussion of procedure, rules of public meeting engagement, and even what constituted proper representation in a democratic republic.

    The consent agenda did pass; however, not without some great deal of discussion among the commissioners led by senior county commissioner Hood Richardson. Commissioner Richardson took the commissioners deep into the weeds of the procedures of governing, where even Beaufort County's attorney David Francisco, tread with great trepidation to offer his best judgement, lest that judgement be cast about wanting. At the heart of the matter of this great broadside of verbosity was the issue of employee travel.
Commissioner Hood Richardson listening intently to board attorney David Francisco: Above.     photo by Stan Deatherage    Click image to expand.

    Commissioner Richardson has long been a bulldog of the conservative practice of limiting employee travel; at times questioning whether mandatory truely means mandatory, and expecting a chance to vote on all travel after receiving a full accounting of such. Tonight, Commissioner Richardson just wanted the matter of one employee, county engineer Christina Smith, to be heard and not cloaked in the consent agenda; his method of choice was to pull the item from the consent agenda for full discussion.
Board attorney David Francisco explaining the Beaufort County rules of procedure as he understands them: Above.     photo by Stan Deatherage    Click image to expand.

    With no fellow commissioners seconding Commissioner Richardson, the item failed; however, the motion failed, Commissioner Richardson did then stress vehemently that the commissioners' rules of procedure did not require a vote, and the matter then became more cloudy, with discussion somewhat heated at times, but ultimately the majority got its way.

    Whether Commissioner Richardson was accurate in his treatment of the county's specialized rules of procedure is open to debate, and we should all be assured that this issue will be broached again at a future time. At some point it will be proved whether Hood is right, the attorney is right, or whether the remainder of the board is right on this issue; however, 'The Hood' is rarely wrong when he takes a strong stand. More about this later as more is discovered as to why Commissioner Richardson is so adamant to have his political voice heard.

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