richland county comissioners

Marilyn John was selected as the 2020 chair of the Richland County Board of Commissioners on Thursday. The commissioners, including Tony Vero (left) and Darrell Banks conducted their first meeting of the year, much of which was devoted to reorganization. Banks was selected vice chair.

MANSFIELD -- Richland County commissioners said Thursday they will consider adding evening meetings to their schedule in 2020.

The three-member panel, which had its reorganization meeting, has traditionally conducted public legislative sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays each week.

Before commissioners voted on renewing the rules for their meetings, Richland Source asked if the panel had ever considered evening meetings that may allow more members of the public to attend.

"We have not really discussed it," said Marilyn John, who was selected during the meeting the board's chair for 2020. "It's certainly something we can look into."

John said she would contact commissioners in other counties to see if they conducted evening sessions. Richland Source left voice mail Thursday with the County Commissioners Association of Ohio, asking that same question.

Most county commission boards in Ohio meet during the day.

Commissioner Tony Vero said he was not opposed to the idea of evening meetings.

"We like to have security at the meetings," he said. "It's not that we are overly opposed to it, but there is an added cost."

Vero also said commissioners often have representatives from other county departments and offices attending commission meetings.

"If you have it in the evening, you kind of inconvenience other elected officials and/or their representatives. That's another reason meetings are during the day," Vero said.

Ohio law doesn't dictate when county commissioners meet, just that they conduct at least 50 regular sessions each year at a "specific time fixed in advance" and that "at each meeting the board shall transact such business as it considers necessary or as required by law."

Commissioners can also schedule special meetings as needed and can also conduct meetings at locations other than their normal meeting room.

Also during Thursday's meeting, commissioners:

-- Said they have met numerous goals regarding county finances. "I think Richland County is in a very healthy state financially. We continue to catch up on the maintenance projects that were delayed for several years due to the recession," John said.

-- Appointed Ed Pickens to another three-year term on the Richland County Transit Board.

-- Appointed Don Moroney and Jim Nicholson to the board for Richland County Children Services, replacing outgoing members Michelle Kowalski and Pam Siegenthaler. Commissioners also re-appointed Jason Murray to another term on the board.

-- selected Darrell Banks as the commissioners' vice chair for 2020.

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City editor. 30-year plus journalist. Husband. Father of 3 grown sons and also a proud grandpa. Prior military journalist in U.S. Navy, Ohio Air National Guard. -- Favorite quote: "Where were you when the page was blank?"