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Commission meeting rules again questioned

Walworth County Commission set a precedent for the open forum again on Tuesday, May 21, as chairman Scott Schilling informed those in the room that they would be removed for disruptive behavior.
As the meeting was called to order, Schilling told those in the crowd that he has made contact with state officials and was informed that if someone in the crowd disrupts the meeting with remarks or actions, they would be given a warning. If the behavior continues, they would be asked to leave the meeting.
As the public input portion of the meeting preceded a testy exchange between resident Carolynn Schmidt and auditor Becky Krein concerning the intelligence required to post a video of the meeting, had Schilling cutting off the exchange.
Linda Beaman then addressed the board about being denied being included on the agenda. Schilling informed Beaman that an official with Chris Jacobson, the director of South Dakota Commissions, told him the chairman of the commission can deny someone being included on the agenda.
Schilling told the commission he would not allow Beaman on the agenda with 17 items.
He said he denied commissioner Jim Houck’s request to put Beaman on the agenda.
Walworth County Attorney Jamie Hare told Schilling that some of the problems county residents have with this commission is an apparent lack of transparency. He said he would talk with Jacobson and get the matter cleared up by the next meeting.
Hare said that he disagreed with the manner in which the meeting was being held.
Beaman was allowed to read a statement about this issue. She was informed that she needed to talk to the state’s attorney about this issue. She asked to be informed about how be included on the agenda. Schilling and Hare continued to disagree about allowing certain people to be put on the agenda or to vote to remove items from the agenda.
The exchange continued for several more minutes before the meeting was allowed to continue.
Beaman again pushed the board on actions taken by the board concerning equipment purchased before it was publicly discussed and jobs listings on the county’s website. The exchange between Schilling and Beaman continued to be contentious before Schilling enforced the five minute rule, more than 20 minutes into her discussion.

The commission returned to the business of the county. That included setting up a committee to recommend a candidate for veteran services officer replacement. Commissioner Davis Martin will set up the committee and work with area veterans’ organization to find a replacement for Leo Rookey who is retiring.
The commission accepted the resignation of Tina Kopriva as a part-time secretary for the sheriff’s office, auditor’s office and the office of equalization. Sheriff Josh Boll asked the commissioners to again make the position a full-time position.
He was informed that the position that Kopriva filled was rotating between the three offices and that this position he is asking for is not. In replacing the position they would need to replace the full-time position that currently exists.
The board will hold a special meeting on Thursday, May 23, at 9 a.m., to discuss the applicants for county highway supervisor.
The county will continue to advertising for the highway supervisor job if they do not hire one of the two applicants.
– Katie Zerr –