STEPHENSON – The Menominee County Board of Commissioners Tuesday discussed the possibility of increasing the number of Road Commissioners from three commissioners to five. This possibility was met with mixed reactions from the board and further discussion will occur.

Commissioner John Nelson brought this up as an addition to the agenda early in the meeting. He said this issue was brought to him earlier the day of the meeting and he wanted to ensure it was brought to the board

Several members from the community were also at the board meeting in favor of this addition, citing a lack of representation the current number of road commissioners offer. Currently, there are three road commissioners, all of whom are elected, but Nelson suggested that the possible added commissioners could be elected by the County Board.

“I think this is a real solid idea,” Nelson told the board. “The county has an interest in our roads and infrastructure, so we have invested interest in the board of road commissioners.”

Because the possibility was so new, Nelson said he had not had the chance to investigate the various options the board has to implement such a change.

“I would like them to have relatively short terms, about two years,” he told the board.

Commissioner Steven Gromala said that he does agree that the road commission should be expanded but he disagrees with Nelson’s suggestion of two-year terms and instead offered a three-year term as a possibility. “If they are appointed, they should have more than two years, but less than the elected road commissioner terms.”

Charlie Meintz said that adding more road commissioners will not necessarily make the board more effective. He cited that the county board used to be five members but is now nine. He said that he feels it is less effective now than it used to be.

Nelson rebutted Meitz’s statement by saying that he feels that county board has made some important decisions since increasing membership. “Having more numbers does not mean it’s less efficient.”

The possibility of adding representation to further reaches of the county was on the minds of several board members.

“We once had a situation where all three road commissioners lived within a few miles of each other and we felt that there should be broader representation,” Commissioner Bernie Lang said.

Lang said that if they chose to increase the number of road commissioners, they will need to work to ensure that the county is properly represented.

Meintz agreed with Lang and suggested the possibility of a district map to ensure the entire county would be represented.

Commissioner Larry Phelps said that with a three-road commissioner board, there are only two individuals making decisions that affect the county when there is an absence at a meeting. “With five members, it would be more representative every time they meet.”

“Before we jump to any conclusions, we need to do more research,” Lang told the board.

County Administrator Jason Carviou said that he would look further into the legality of expanding the number of road commissioners to bring back to the board for discussion at a future date.