BENTON -- The role of county commissioner doesn't only include attending weekly meetings and making decisions for the county -- there's also a requirement of 20 hours of continuing education every year.
Scott County commissioners will fulfill that requirement by attending a state commissioners meeting next Wednesday through Friday in Jefferson City, they announced during Thursday's regular meeting. As a result, there will be no county commission meeting on Thursday.
"You lose money from your salary if you don't have the certificate," said Dennis Ziegenhorn, county commissioner. "Your incentive is obviously there to go, but outside of that, you're trying to learn something that will help out the county."
Commissioner Ron McCormick said the meeting is "money well spent.
"One of the things that intrigued me the most last year were the similarities in the issues between all the counties," McCormick continued. "It seemed like they were going through all the same issues at the same time."
Ziegenhorn said there are a lot of things he and other commissioners learn from other counties -- and have in the past. For instance, commissioners take seminars and learn of services they can charge fees for and take seminars in emergency management and other issues. There are also several roundtable discussions and presentations.
"We also talk about bills that are of interest to the counties," said Ziegenhorn. "Then we go and talk to our legislator about them."
McCormick said that this year he's going to the meeting to glean information -- not just help learn the ropes. "I'm all ears this time," he said. "It's all about listening to other people who have gone through similar problems and how they're dealing with it."
He and Ziegenhorn said they are particularly interested in learning more about handling workers compensation issues, ways to deal with the smaller budget due to the expiration of the law enforcement sales tax but still offer the same services, and a solution to help the county's ailing 911 system.
Additionally McCormick, a liaison between the county commission and the e-
911 program, said commissioners plan to meet with others from the area about the creation of a regional 911 hub to be headquartered in Scott County. So far, only Pemiscot County officials have expressed an interest in combining services, but McCormick said he hopes other county commissioners will join the discussion, in case they want to combine services in future years.
In other business, Rita Milam, county clerk, reminded voters that those who are unable to vote on Tuesday in the presidential primary, her office at the Scott County Courthouse in Benton will be open from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday for voters to cast absentee ballots.
Milam noted that, by law, all county clerk offices are required to be open on Saturday. Those in other counties should check with their respective county clerk for more information.