BOC chairman shuffles committee members

Douglas County Commission Chairman Romona Jackson Jones recently handed out new committee assignments.

Douglas County Commission Chairman Romona Jackson Jones rolled out new committee assignments in a late-night email to county commissioners.

Jones said after two years, it was time to make some changes in the committees. Not all of the commissioners accepted the new assignments.

“Committee assignments are rotated on an annual basis in both city and county governments, and it’s been two years since I’ve changed committee assignments,” Jones said in an email to the Sentinel. “In my opinion, change allows every member of the governing bodies to learn and engage in all aspects of local government and not just focus on one particular area.”

Under the new structure, Jones will sit on 15 of the 16 committees. She said this isn’t an indication that she is looking to have a bigger role in how the committees are run.

“Not necessarily because eight of the 16 committees meet twice a year and I am grateful for my fellow colleagues who chose to serve on the eight committees that meet monthly and understandingly respect the decisions of those who did not,” Jones said in the email.

Tarenia Carthan, who represents District 3, is the only commissioner that doesn’t have a committee assignment.

District 2 Commissioner Kelly Robinson, who chaired the finance committee, is now only on the transportation committee.

District 4 Commissioner Ann Jones Guider is now a member of the finance committee.

“It gives me a chance to give input right off the bat,” said Guider, the only Republican on the five-member BOC. “It gives me a chance to express my view.”

Guider has voted against the last two budgets that the BOC has passed.

She often clashes with other commissioners on budget issues.

“I’m conservative,” Guider said.

Joining Guider on the finance committee will be Jones, a newly-hired county administrator, county Finance Director Jennifer Hallman and the county’s chief financial advisor, David Corbin.

Guider might have an ally in Corbin.

“We usually agree on most things,” Guider said. “I will now have a voice from the get-go.”

Guider said she stepped down from the Fire/EMS committee with a new fire chief coming into the county.

At the conclusion of last week’s BOC meeting, Commissioner Henry Mitchell questioned Jones about the committee moves. He said they received a late-night email from Jones informing them of the moves.

“There was no conversation with us prior to the change,” Mitchell said. “She has the authority to make the move but we have the right to refuse the assignment.”

Mitchell said after a conversation with Jones, he retained the position on the previous three committees he served on.

“I’m pleased at where I’m at right now,” Mitchell said.