In an issue that continues to divide them, the Davis County Commission this week turned down a request by the county auditor to designate a chief deputy for her office.
Auditor Ruth Kennington included the request in her proposed budget for 1990, which the county commissioners are reviewing.Commissioner William "Dub" Lawrence, a political ally and backer of Kennington since he took office in January, said the refusal of the other two commissioners to grant the request is discriminatory, both against Kennington's office and her personally.
Commission Chairman William Peters denied he and Commissioner Gayle Stevenson are discriminating against Kennington. Peters said her request was turned down because she doesn't need a chief deputy.
The commission has voted to combine the offices of auditor and county clerk beginning in 1991, with voters in November 1990 electing a combined clerk-auditor.
And, Peters said, with other recent changes in the personnel in Kennington's office, a chief deputy would have only one other staff member to supervise. Two of Kennington's current staff members are transferring out of the office and she plans to hire a certified public accountant to conduct audits of county departments.
That auditor will operate independently, Peters said, leaving a chief deputy with only one other staff member to supervise.
Lawrence said he believes it is "incumbent upon the County Commission to approve the request for the appointment of a chief deputy," adding the auditor, as an elected official and department head, has the right and prerogative to name one.
But the law states that deputies and assistants can only be appointed with the consent of the commissioners.