Three longstanding Jefferson County Planning and Zoning Commissioners were replaced as of Jan. 1 after the Jefferson County Board of Commissioners announced that they would not be reappointed during the Dec. 10 meeting.

Planning and Zoning Commissioners Michael Clark, Bill Stoddard and Ed Mortensen were replaced by Jefferson County residents Heath Lewis, Ryan Ashcraft and Lane Steel. Commissioner Byron Evans was also replaced by Corey Beebe after he was involved in a farming accident late last year.

Jefferson County Commissioner Brian Farnsworth moved to appoint the three aforementioned individuals for a term of three years. After the terms conclude the three could then come before the board to seek reappointment or replacement.

The ensuing vote was unanimous.

County Planning and Zoning Administrator Kevin Hathaway informed the Jefferson County Board of Commissioners of the idea for restructuring at the Nov. 19 meeting, noting that it was the commission’s request.

During that meeting Hathaway indicated that Clark, Mortensen and Stoddard wanted to bring on an additional four members before the end of the year and train them for the next six months, allowing four of the commissioners to step down.

Hathaway told The Jefferson Star Jan. 3 that according to Idaho Code, the board of commissioners are unable to appoint commissioners to terms that lasted less than three years, therefore they were unable to remain on the board to train the new appointees.

For their extended service, the commissioners decided to award Clark, Stoddard, Mortensen and Evans each with an appreciation plaque.

Clark has served on the planning and zoning board since 2004, Mortensen since 2006, Stoddard since 2008 and Evans served from 2003 to 2009 and then again since 2011.

In addition to the new appointees, the board now consists of Warren Albertson (2014-), Ty Belnap (2014-) and Diane Merrill (2018-). The county commissioners indicated that Albertson and Belnap with both finish out their term which is set to conclude in 2020.

During the Jan. 3 planning and zoning meeting, the board appointed Belnap as the new chairman and Albertson as the new vice chairman for January. The board didn’t appoint a chairman and a vice chairman for the remainder of 2019 because not all of the commissioners were present during the meeting.

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