The Enterprise Water Works Board discussed the possibility of adding two more board members to its ranks during a regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday.
Board member Eugene Goolsby, who also serves on the Enterprise City Council, first suggested the idea in a previous water works board meeting. According to Goolsby, the Enterprise City Council is in favor of expanding the water board from three members to five members, which, after conducting further research, is more in line with other cities of Enterprise’s size.
Goolsby said that as proposed, the changes would come into effect with the next administration in November 2020.
“There’s no urgency, but I don’t know of any reason why we couldn’t go ahead and do it now, personally,” Goolsby said. “We would just like to make sure that this is going to take place in the next administration.”
Board member Ben Beckham, Jr. asked about the complications that could arise from the possibility of having a new city council and new water board members all at the same time.
“What if you had a new mayor, an entire new city council, and then two new water board members all at the same time?” Beckham asked. “That’s probably not going to happen, but wouldn’t that be quite an orientation situation for everybody on that side of the table? It would be a lot to consume if it did happen.”
Goolsby said that the changes could go into effect earlier than previously proposed if the board wanted to eliminate the possible complication.
“If it would take some complications out, instead of waiting until the next political year, we can go ahead and do it now and have the two new members assigned now,” Goolsby said. “The city council did agree that there would only be one council member on the board.”
Water Works Board Chairman John L. Mitchell, Jr. said his primary concern with adding new members is complicating the water board’s current projects.
“I’m not saying that I’m completely opposed to it, but my concern with adding members to it would be bogging down projects and things like that,” said Mitchell. “Maybe it wouldn’t, I don’t know, but I know the water board has functioned very well for a long time with three members, and I would hate for this department to be bogged down by added members. I’m not saying it would, but that’s my thoughts on it.”
“I wouldn’t mind seeing it tabled until we can get some of these replacement projects out of the way, some of the other situations that we’ve dealt with, maybe bring some closure to it and bring it back to the table,” Beckham added. “I’d like to see some matters concluded before we’ve got it set in stone.”
Mitchell agreed with Beckham, recommending that the board table the issue until a later date as the current administration will remain in office until August of 2020.
“I would like to see it tabled for now until we can get some things done,” Mitchell said. “I’m not opposed to having more discussion about it, but right now, the main reason I’ve been told we want to move forward with it is to, in case someone’s out, have more than two people voting. I’m perfectly content with a three-member water board. If there’s something other than that, I’ll be glad to listen to any other opinion; if we need a meeting with city council on this then we’ll listen to anything they have to say or any recommendations if they have more to tell us -- I would be more than happy to discuss that at a work session or whatever. But right now I would be for tabling this until a later date.”
Goolsby agreed to table the issue for further discussion.