By Heather Mullinix
The Tansi Sewer Utility is again looking for a new commissioner to serve on the board, following the announcement James Heath will leave the board, effective March 16, following the completion of his term, and he encouraged members of the community to apply to fill the vacancy.
“We need strong commissioners who bring a desire to help the people of our community,” Heath said. “I have tried to support that which would be a benefit to our ecosystem, the value of our own property and the people of the Tansi community.
“For the most part, this experience has been good, but there have been some great disappointments along the way — the willingness of many to seek and accept without any supporting evidence factual items as false and the lack of community support and the lack of willingness to show their support in any way, and the refusal to analyze information before accepting it.”
Heath pointed to a meeting where a member of the audience asked what the salary was for former general manager Duke Coyne. The answer of $28,500 a year was greeted by outbursts the information was false, Heath read in his prepared statement.
“This demonstrates the negative attitude of many of our citizens and created an atmosphere of non-cooperation or willingness to find any solution to the community’s problems,” Heath said. “I just don’t think there is as much helpful community support in the Tansi community as I think should be there.”
Heath said he is likely to return to future meetings of the board as an interested bystander.
At the time of the Feb. 12 meeting, only one application had been received for the vacancy. The board needs to submit three candidates to Cumberland County Mayor Kenneth Carey.
Eleanor Smith, of Cheyenne Ct., is the applicant.
Smith told the board she felt she would bring a different perspective to the board, that of a single-income household.
“I feel sometimes people in my situation are overlooked,” she said, and added she felt she was a person and able to see all sides of an issue.
“Progress is progress, as far as that goes, but I have neighbors that don’t live in the $200,000-plus homes, and I think they need representation, too,” she said.
Heath said, “The people at this table sometimes have to decide on things that are not always for the best of the individuals that we serve, but sometimes there’s some things you have to do to keep the organization going. I think that’s probably one of the biggest challenges to being a commissioner. I believe that when you say yes to being a commissioner, you say, ‘Yes, I am also going to see that what we do is right for the sewer service as well as the sewer customers.”
Heath will remain as a signatory for checks until a new board members is named and that name added to paperwork at the bank. It takes two board member signatures to sign a check for the district, and this will allow the district to continue with its business in the event one of the remaining board members is unavailable. Virgil Ferguson moved to allow Heath to remain as a signatory, supported by Trey Kerley, and approved.
The board will meet again at 4 p.m. March 12 at the utility office at 7004 Ute Lane. Those interested in applying to serve as a commissioner should submit a statement of interest and include information about his or her background.