With the County Technical Assistance Service (CTAS) issuing an opinion in November, stating Coffee County Commission is the only governing body authorized to appoint members of the Public Building Authority (PBA), the county commission is expected on Tuesday to void the appointments that have not been approved by the county.
According to CTAS, which provides technical consulting to assist county government operations, the appointments of Jewell Noblitt and Richard Dix to PBA without commission approval is unlawful, said Coffee County Mayor Gary Cordell.
The seven-member PBA board oversees the operations of the financially-troubled Manchester-Coffee County Conference Center.
The center has lost millions since opening its doors in 2002 - more than $1.5 in the last four years alone – and responsibility for covering those losses is split equally between the county and the City of Manchester.
During the meeting of the Coffee County Budget and Finance Committee on Wednesday, members agreed that a formal resolution to void the invalid appointments is needed.
“The CTAS opinion invalidates both Noblitt and Dix,” said Cordell.
Cordell asked CTAS to review all relevant incorporation documents to determine which board has the authority to appoint PBA members following the authority’s controversial Sept. 14 decision to change its bylaws to increase Manchester’s representation on its board.
According to CTAS, the PBA is strictly a county entity and all board members must be appointed by the county mayor with the confirmation by the county commission. The PBA, in turn, does not have control over its own membership.
Elena Cawley may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org