Blythewood Town Council Makes Board Appointments without Open Solicitations

In a unanimous vote at their regular meeting on Monday night, Town Council members voted to re-seat six current board and commission members whose terms have expired. Town Hall did not openly solicit for applications for the seats prior to the vote as required by town law.

This is the second time in two months that Council has broken the town’s statute governing appointments to the planning commission.

When asked in an email why Council had violated its own rules concerning the reappointments, Mayor J. Michael Ross replied, “Would we ask someone to step down and reappoint someone new? We contacted all of these that had served. (I think that is soliciting), and they asked to be reappointed. It is very hard to find interested people to serve. I have passed this [your email] on to our town attorney and John Perry [Town Administrator].”

Aside from public scrutiny or someone bringing a legal action against Council for violating the town’s statute, there is no mechanism in place to force Council to abide by the town’s rules.

According to the statute, Title XV, Chapter 150.02:

(B) Open solicitation of Commission members shall begin no less than 30 days prior to the Town Council meeting during which an appointment, or appointments, are to be made.

(D) A vacancy may be filled at any Council meeting providing that open solicitation began no less than 30 days prior to the Council meeting during which an appointment, or appointments, are to be made.

The following town board members were re-seated by Council at Monday’s meeting: Mike Switzer and Marcus Taylor (Planning Commission), Cindy Nord and Bob Mangone (Board of Architectural Review), Tom Utroska and Sabra Mazyck (Board of Zoning Appeals.)

Each member serves three-year staggered terms.