Recent local news stories about the January 2nd Annual Barnstable County Commissioners’ Reorganization Meeting portray a grossly inaccurate picture of the structure of our Cape Cod Regional Government, the specific duties of the County Commissioners, as well as the Board's Chairman.
The misleading impression is given that the purpose of the Barnstable County Commissioners, and their Chairman, is to meet with the Cape’s boards of selectmen and citizens to promote the role of the county, offer insights into services it offers and discuss what the county can do for them.
The Commission Chairman is responsible for putting together the Board's meeting agendas, and presiding over the weekly meetings. That is pretty much it.
Regarding the structure of our County Government, and the duties of County Commissioners, there is more to be understood.
Barnstable County Government has two main elements, an executive branch, the County Commissioners, and a legislative branch, the Assembly of Delegates.
The three County Commissioners are elected Cape-wide and serve four-year terms. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to direction of county agencies, preparation of budgets for submission to the County legislature, care of county property and finances, proposing ordinances, and appointment of the County Administrator and employees.
Barnstable County Commissioner