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County officials hit the ground running

Times Observer photo by Josh Cotton Commissioner Jeff Eggleston being sworn in by President Judge Maureen Skerda on Monday morning during a ceremony held at the Warren County Courthouse.

The Warren County Commissioners were sworn in on Monday morning.

A couple of hours later, they got to work, setting at least a general course for 2020 and the new term during a reorganizational meeting followed by a work session.

The first order of business was to elect the chair and incumbent Commissioner Ben Kafferlin was unanimously elected to that post.

“I don’t particularly want to serve as chair for the entire four years,” he said, identifying models that other counties utilize on this issue.

Prior to this most recently completed term, the tradition had been that the chair defacto went to the highest vote-getter.

Times Observer photo by Josh Cotton Commissioner Ben Kafferlin being sworn in by President Judge Maureen Skerda on Monday morning during a ceremony held at the Warren County Courthouse.

Kafferlin described that as an “unhelpful tradition.”

“I want to break that for good… My preference would not be to bind the board to any particular tradition” so that “each board can decide on its own.”

He told the board he reviewed the county code to determine what items the board needs to address at a reorganizational meeting. While he said the code even permits the hire of rattlesnake killers, by language, the current board ratified meeting times, appointed Nathaniel Schmidt to continue to serve as solicitor and Pam Matve to continue in her role as chief clerk.

In addition, the commissioners settled on the lists of boards that each member will serve on. Kafferlin suggested that the commissioners work together to have a presence at these meetings when the assigned member is unavailable to attend “so you get to meet them and they get to meet you.”

He also suggested a portion of each meeting where the board can share updates from those various organizations.

Times Observer photo by Josh Cotton Commissioner Tricia Durbin being sworn in by President Judge Maureen Skerda on Monday morning during a ceremony held at the Warren County Courthouse.

They also discussed dividing the county’s departments and offices and having individuals commissioners serve as liaisons for those departments.

“This only works if all three are committed to working openly with each other and all issues are brought that are needed to be brought… when they need to be,” Eggleston said.

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