Public positions are opening in Grant County for the 2022-2026 term, and the county is hoping to receive interest from new applicants.

Grant County council advertised open positions for the library boards for both Marion Public Library (MPL) and Jonesboro Public Library (JPL) as well as for the Area Plan Commission (APC).

Council decided to take a different route with appointments for the public boards on Wednesday evening. Instead of making the appointments, the council opened the opportunity for the public to submit an application or express interest for the positions.

“Under my recommendation, I’d like to see us do things a little different this evening as far as appointments go,” said President Shane Middlesworth. “I think that we need to give the opportunities for the public to submit an application or interest to this body whether it be a library appointment or area plan commission appointment to give them a chance for them to be notified.”

MPL has a term that is set to expire in December of 2021. The new term would begin on Jan. 1, 2022, and would extend through 2025.

The MPL board is composed of seven members who are required to reside in the library district, which is the same area as the city of Marion.

Interested applicants for the MPL board must notify a member of the council or a staff member of the auditor’s office.

Terms will be expiring for both the MPL board vice-president Ed Breen and treasurer Sue Nicholson who are both completing their first term on the board.

Public will have until Dec. 1 to submit their interest to a government official to be considered for the appointment in the upcoming term.

JPL is seeking a new appointment and will follow the same guidelines as listed for the MPL board. No further information on specific expiring terms has been given.

APC is also requesting an appointee. Council will be considering citizen members of Grant County for the position. Applications are open to the public as well as other government officials. Interested parties are required to submit a form of interest to a county government official by Dec. 1 as well.

Middlesworth recommended that all future appointments follow the guidelines set for the library boards and area plan commission to ensure that the best candidate is chosen for appointment and that the public has ample opportunity to apply.

“I know that is a little different than normal. I think it’s good to give opportunities to get different applicants,” said Middlesworth.

Toward the end of the meeting, chaplain of the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) Ed Hartman requested the council to consider a reappointment for Bob Monroe who sits on the BZA and the APC.

“I know that you have one person from our board that is also on the APC and he may not be reappointed next year. I was just asking if you would consider reappointing Bob Monroe to the APC,” said Hartman. “He’s a very experienced member. He served this community for 16 years. He cares very much about this community. Even though he may be occasionally outspoken, he is a very good member.”

Council immediately thanked Hartman for his statements and closed the meeting, leaving the public notice for applications for the APC open.

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