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Local News

Barry Commissioners move ahead with training for volunteers for committees

The Barry County Commissioners committee of the whole Tuesday recommended an agreement for training elected and appointed officials who serve on county boards and committees to be provided as an independent contractor by  Leadership Barry County/Barry County Foundation, the oldest such organization in the state.

 

The agreement covers costs, liability insurance, workers compensation insurance, compliance with laws and non-discrimination, among other legal issues. The cost is $700 for the annual orientation workshop, $500 for each additional workshop, $200 for each quarterly leadership development workshop.

 

The commission also recommended Granicus Boards and Commissions software for $2,250 for training and set up and $7,200 for annual fee to clerks to manage all of the information covering the entire committee appointment process.

 

Commissioner Ben Geiger said applicants could go on line for information, the openings available and could apply on line. “Clerks could help track what vacancies are opening up and make administration’s life a little easier,” Geiger said.

 

Administrator Michael Brown said the automation process would be easier and more effective for those looking for information than the current manual system.  It will not replace the paper application for those who do not go on line. //

 

Sarah Alden, director of Leadership Barry County, gave a detailed history of the agency and its mission to develop and link leaders for stronger communities through instruction, workshops and written materials.The organization has more than 500 alumni.

 

In addition to an orientation workshop, some of the areas LBC will provide training include leadership style self-assessment, leadership and teambuilding, how to navigate difficult conversations, team work and collaboration, engaging constituents and community demographics and trends. Written materials include quick guides on parliamentary procedure, the Freedom of Information Act and the Open Meetings act.

 

Alden stressed the flexibly of the LBC to meet the needs of the persons to take training.

Commissioner Jon Smelker asked if they were overburdening volunteers, putting up obstacles. Alden said the orientation is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., less than a full day, and they could have smaller training classes with flexible hours, nights or Saturdays. Smelker said later that some volunteers might not come forward for lack of knowing what it was all about; with the training offered, he thought they would be more inclined to volunteer.

 

Commissioner Dan Parker said it would help the whole community in the long run, but they had to be careful and upfront, “telling them the training is available and the commission recommends it, but they don’t necessarily have to have it.”

 

Other commissioners agreed it should be not be required, but it would increase professionalism on boards and committees and benefit the county. The agreement was approved to send to the full board with recommendation of approval 5-2.

 

Conner voted no because she still had too many questions about some details, Smelker voted no without an explanation.

Geiger called the agreement with LBC “a truly transformational partnership.”

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