During the February meeting of the Emery County Public Lands Council the members put to vote whether or not the Emery County Commissioners should remain on the board as voting members or just sit on the board as advisory members. This topic was discussed in great detail at the January meeting.
Jim Gilson, council member, said that all decisions made by the public lands council go before the governing board which is the commissioners anyway. Bruce Wilson, council member, said that in talking to people in the community they felt it was a conflict of interest to have commissioners as voting members of the council. He said these people choose not to apply for positions on the council as they become available because they feel the commissioners have too much influence.
Commissioner Ira Hatch said he respects the input of others on the council and that everyone's input is important and that is what makes the council successful. Commissioner Hatch said the commission solicits applications for available positions on the board, but they do not have to do this, they could just appoint people to the council. They want to fill the positions with people who are interested in the issues facing the county.
Commissioner Hatch said he felt there wasn't much validity to a statement made in the last meeting concerning how some council members would wait to see how the commissioners were voting before they cast their vote. He said he didn't know of an incident where this had taken place.
Ray Petersen, public lands director passed out the ballots to the members present. Dennis Worwood, council chairman didn't vote. Those voting were: Vernell Rowley, Ira Hatch, Bruce Wilson, Jim Gilson, Dickson Huntington, Sherrel Ward, Tory Killian and Clyde Magnuson. Those not in attendance this day included Commissioner Drew Sitterud and Commissioner Gary Kofford.
The secret ballots were cast and the outcome was five votes to three to retain the commissioners as voting members of the council. The four terms currently expiring are for Dickson Huntington, Dennis Worwood, Tory Killian and Jim Gilson. Gilson and Worwood did not reapply.