October 18, 2013 by wcobserver
The Observation Post by Steve Winkler-
Okay girls, time to take notes.
The West Fork Planning Commission needs a few new members. If you’re a female applicant it might help your chances to serve your town if you have secretary skills to offer.
Former Commissioner Shyrlie Stout who served as the commission’s secretary resigned several months ago leaving Chair Mike Landa, with the administrative responsibilities of the group. He appears to be in over his head. As secretary, Ms. Stout not only took meeting minutes, she did research, and preformed the critical task of complying with Freedom of Information rules and informing members and the public of meetings. Since her departure as secretary the commission has had problems with gathering a quorum necessary to do business. Some of that business involves filling two empty seats on the commission.
At last night’s meeting, two citizens who had applied were considered for the vacancies. Former councilperson Joan Wright presented herself for consideration. Mr. Landa conducts the interviews. He asked if she knows how to take minutes. Ms. Wright assured him she knows how to write. A second applicant, Cleta Terhune, stood before Mr. Landa and was asked if she knew shorthand. She obviously could see where he was going with that line of questioning and indicated she might be able to help as secretary. Both applications were forwarded to the mayor.
Commissioner Wes Eckles, suggested that the commission would be better served by having a professional clerk do the administrative duties, not one of the commissioners who should be focusing on the work before the commission. After some discussion he offered a motion that requested the city council provide a clerk/secretary for the planning commission. The motion passed.
We don’t recall a male applicant to the planning commission ever being quizzed about their secretarial skills. Why would they? In the old sexist worldview, secretary work in “skirt work.”