East county cities conduct first public safety building board meeting
On April 18 East Carbon and Sunnyside cities conducted the first meeting of the cities' joint public safety building board.
East Carbon's delegation to the board consists of Mayor Orlando LaFontaine, Councilmember Joyce Caviness and citizen Earl Gunderson. Sunnyside's delegation includes Mayor Bruce Andrews, Coucilmember Doug Parsons and citizen and fire chief Gene Madrid.
The meetings agenda largely focused on selecting a seventh member for the board. The board has decided that a seventh member is needed to serve as a tie-breaker within the group. As a criteria for selection the group decided that the seventh member must have ties to the county but not be a citizen of either city.
LaFontaine spoke in favor of several candidates including Steve Burge and Don Marrelli. He added that Burge would be an excellent choice due to his experience as a professional mediator. Burge's nomination was met with resistance from Parsons citing Burge's roll as a county commissioner. Parsons stated that he did not want to see any of the commissioners fill the position.
"The big problem we are going to run into is going to be getting someone to attend these meetings," said Andrews. "Just getting someone to commit to showing up."
Other names brought up by the board included Don Denison, Brad King, Nick and Richard Tatton, Pace Hansen, Paul Bedont and Mellisa Hamilton.
Hamilton was considered for quite awhile because her position as Petersen Elementary principal makes her familiar with both towns.
"She has a stake in this area and works well with both communities," said Parsons.
The board concluded that they would send letters to the candidates in order to ascertain their possible interest in the position.
"I don't think we will need a tie-breaker very often," said LaFontaine. "Once we get past the initial issues of location and a few other things, I think this board will run smoothly.
The board further discussed limits of the board's decision-making power. The cities' interlocal agreement stipulates that the board has authority to make decisions concerning the public safety building in all matters with the exception of those affecting the budget of either city. Members of the board wanted clarification on whether or not possible CIB grant monies are considered city budget.
The board will meet again on May 11 to review candidates.