Supervisors right to join port board

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Last week, members of the Adams County Board of Supervisors decided to double the size of the Adams County Port Commission — by adding themselves as members.

Although their public reasons for doing so seemed pretty thin, at best, we think something more is at play.

Perhaps supervisors have learned their lesson after mishandling a similar situation involving the Natchez Regional Medical Center and its board of trustees.

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Supervisors appoint members to both the hospital board and the port commission. But with the hospital board, supervisors have struggled to obtain information regarding the hospital’s financial situation.

While supervisors suggest the two situations are different, it’s clear they feel it’s necessary to become more directly involved in port operations — even if they won’t clearly explain why.

We normally oppose what seems like ever-expanding government commissions, however, in this case, we support the supervisors’ decision and applaud them for seeking to get involved and in the know on such an important county asset.

We suggest supervisors consider all aspects of the port operations — and in particular supervisors’ own recent practice of appointing one person from each supervisor’s district — rather than simply going after the most qualified person.

Like a number of hospitals, many ports contract out the daily operations of the port facility. Perhaps the county should consider something similar. Who knows? It may be the smartest thing for county taxpayers, who ultimately own the port and its facilities.