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TMCNet:  As required by law, commissioners tour facilities [Columbia Daily Tribune (MO)]

[January 30, 2013]

As required by law, commissioners tour facilities [Columbia Daily Tribune (MO)]

(Columbia Daily Tribune (MO) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Sometimes the Boone County Commission has to look back to see how far it has come.

In a throwback to an era just a few decades ago when county commissioners were still called "county judges" or "road judges" and met only a few times a year, commissioners yesterday toured the Boone County Government Center -- the very building where they work every day.

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"By law, we are required once a year to go through every building" that the county owns, Southern District Commissioner Karen Miller said. The commission will visit every county building over the next few weeks.

The law also says county commissions are required to meet only four times a year -- once every quarter. That meeting frequency would not be practical for a county with the size and functions of Boone, Miller said.

"We are the trustees for the citizens of the county," said Presiding Commissioner Dan Atwill, noting that the county commission acts as the manager of county-owned property. He joked at times during the tour of government center offices that he was counting paper clips and taking inventory of other office supplies.

"Imagine a county that only meets four times a year " he said. "They might think they have two motograders that they no longer have." Commissioners were accompanied by Facilities Maintenance Director Bob Davidson and Resource Management Director Stan Shawver. Davidson checked each office for maintenance issues and signs of normal wear and tear. Shawver watched for any building code issues.

Davidson took note of a bowed ceiling tile above the desk of County Treasurer Nicole Galloway. Galloway laughed and said she hadn't noticed it.

"I am very satisfied with my office and the conditions I work in," she told commissioners.

The tour gave Atwill and Northern District Commissioner Janet Thompson their first peek into the third-floor mailroom as Miller pointed out security and climate-control features. In the Recorder of Deeds Office, Miller showed Thompson where the oldest deed books are stored.

"This is my favorite room," said Miller, an avid genealogist. The room stores bound deeds of trust, some military records, marriage license records and other documents. "When I retire, this is where I'll come spend some time." The tour was especially illuminating for Thompson, the newest member of the three-person commission. She was elected in November and sworn-in Jan. 1.

Thompson was intrigued by the complexity of the mapmaking room in the resource management department. She was even more impressed by the server room in the information technology department. IT Director Aron Gish showed her the battery backup and backup generator that are in place to keep the county connected in case of emergency. "That, to me, is really the most important part of this building," Thompson said.

The tour also was important for Thompson's role as the commission's liaison to the facilities maintenance department.

"This shows to me the county has been good stewards of funds and now good stewards of the assets," she said.

This article was published in the Tuesday, January 29, 2013 edition of the Columbia Daily Tribune with the headline "Commissioners get annual facility tour: Requirements are from county's past." [copyright] 2013 Columbia Daily Tribune . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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