Many public agencies have public boards consisting of local individuals who provide operations and policy governance. The District is one of them, with a fairly large board of 10 men and women who represent our service areas in Wood, Hancock, and Henry Counties. This board was formed by the court before The District was put into operation in 1992.
At that time, we had 9 board members. In 2019, we merged with the Henry County Regional Water and Sewer District, and a 10th seat was added. Our board members consist of:
- 3 seats are appointed by municipalities that are members of The District
- 3 seats are appointed by the townships that are members of The District
- The Wood County Commissioners appoint 3 seats
- The Henry County Commissioners appoint 1 seat
Each board representative serves a 3-year term that comes up for review and (usually) reappointment. That happens every year, as always, by the end of this calendar year December 31. We notify the appointing entities during mid-late summer of this process and remind them all at least one more time during the process that it is underway.
Why is this important?
Let me give you an answer from one of the two employees they hire to run the day-to-day operations, me!
A good operating board, from my perspective, and on behalf of the customers and the other elected officials who appoint them, should be aware of their responsibilities when they agree to accept the position. This includes:
- Planning: Whether it is the strategic plan, the financial plan, compensation, or capital needs there is an opportunity to ensure the organization is moving in the right direction.
- Operational assessment: In serving over 20,000 customers in multiple areas, we have employees in many situations. The Board should ensure our employees are trained, educated, efficient, and economical in their efforts each day. And that we are adequately staffed, not under nor over-staffed.
- Hiring: The Board now hires two employees to oversee The District. The president, who reports to them, as well as the chief financial officer. They provide governance to the other appointed board members as well.
- Interface & Communication: They maintain relationships with our customers and governmental bodies. They provide insight to management on local issues and opportunities alike. And they create and instill avenues and forums for these things to occur.
- Structure: They ensure that the full board represents the full community, the full-service area we serve. And they create and manage board subcommittees to ensure operations and policy are best being served.
As you can see it is a big job! Some board members come with prior board experience, and some are more technically aware of what we do. With 10 board members, we are large enough for this type of diversity and grateful for the expertise that comes from it. They all come with a willingness to work together and ensure that the customer is best being served and represented.
They will be at our Open House on August 16, you hope you get a chance to meet them.