The Clintonville Area Commission now has a fifth standing committee, and it has a name -- but deciding the latter practically derailed the former.

The Clintonville Area Commission now has a fifth standing committee, and it has a name -- but deciding the latter practically derailed the former.

The seemingly innocent change to the bylaws that would have added a committee focusing on the CAC's website became fraught with perceived possible peril when Chairwoman Libby Wetherholt last week suggested a change in what the new panel would be called.

When she introduced the notion at the December session, it was simply the technology committee.

"I'm wondering if we should name this actually 'technology and community relations committee,' " Wetherholt said in opening what turned out to be nearly an hour of protracted discussion.

The purpose of the website, and therefore the new committee, she explained when asked by District 7 representative Jason Meek about the reason for the change, was to communicate with residents.

But for some members of the commission, the additional two words created the potential for greatly expanded responsibilities and powers for the committee.

"Who's going to determine the content of the website -- in other words, what's going to be posted to the website?" asked Christopher Allwein, District 8 representative. "Technology is simply having the website and community relations is what you say on the website."

The wording of the bylaws change charges the new panel with devising rules for use and content of the website, but with the consent of the full commission, Wetherholt responded.

"I do like the blending of technology and public relations," Meek said.

Allwein asked if the CAC's Facebook page also would be under the authority of the new committee. District 4 representative Judy Minister said that page was set up when the commission's website was out of commission.

"It kind of filled the gap when we were in the disaster zone," she said.

Mary Rodgers of the Clintonville Historical Society suggested including community relations in the name of the committee could potentially "open a can of worms."

"I really do think community relations is a lot different from technology," she said.

"We see the website as being our (way of) relating to the community," Wetherholt replied.

Minister made a motion to name the committee "technology and communications," but no one offered a second.

"I think we're parsing it a little fine here," District 1 representative David Vottero said. "Community relations is maybe a soft term, but I think it gets across what we're going for here."

Meek then suggested dropping the term altogether and going back to simply technology. Allwein put forth the idea of technology and electronic communications.

In the end, the vote to create the new committee and call it technology and community relations was 6-1, with Allwein the lone "no" vote. He did not offer an explanation.

District 2's Nancy Kuhel and D Searcy of District 9 were absent from the meeting.

kparks@thisweeknews.com

@KevinParksTW1