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Civil service board makes some changes
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Forsyth County News

The chairman of Forsyth County’s civil service board is stepping aside after 17 years at the helm.

During a meeting Thursday morning, Avery Howell and Terry Smith, the board’s vice chairman, essentially swapped roles on the three-member panel.

Howell has been on the board since 1988 and served as its chairman since 1995.

The move was part of a vote on the upcoming year’s leaders. The board also made some policy and procedural changes.

The policy change was in response to a future county commission vote that likely will require all members of the local ethics board live outside Forsyth.

This affects the civil service board, which is required to be made up of county residents, because it currently calls on an ethics board member to fill in if one of its own can’t attend a meeting.

Attorney Dana Miles, the civil service board’s hearing officer, proposed the change that would have two members on the panel and a third serving as an alternate.

Instead of an ethics board member, the alternate civil service board member would then step in if one of the others was unable to make a meeting.

John Blanchard is the current third member.

In a 3-0 vote, the civil service board backed the recommendation, which must still be approved by county commissioners.

Unanimous approval was also made for a change to the board’s procedure on handling a possible vacancy.

In the event of death, resignation or removal of a member, an election must currently be held to fill the vacancy.

The new procedure would allow the remaining member and alternate to appoint someone to fill the spot until an election is held.

One member of the panel is chosen by the elected officials in the county. Company employees elect the second member, while the third is appointed by the first two members.