The Cape Girardeau County Commission on Monday morning rescinded a policy instituted in May preventing one commissioner from discussing business with department heads assigned to other commissioners.
Presiding Commissioner Gerald Jones, who wrote the policy with county Prosecuting Attorney Morley Swingle, said it was "a bad policy."
Jones had asked for the matter to be on the agenda. He had pressed for the policy to be adopted last year, at a time when he and then-1st District commissioner Larry Bock had agreed to reassign the departmental duties of 2nd District Commissioner Jay Purcell.
The policy states that requests by commissioners for "opinions or information from an elected county official or department director shall be in writing and signed by a majority of the commissioners, unless the information is requested of a department to which the commission is assigned.
"If the commissioner has a question of a department to which he is not assigned, then that question shall be addressed to the commission as a whole or the assigned commissioner, who will forward the question to the appropriate department."
Purcell had included a copy of the policy in a memo to departments assigned to him last week. He questioned Jones' reversal of opinion and voted against rescinding the policy. But after losing -- Jones and 1st District Commissioner Paul Koeper agreed to drop the rule -- Purcell said he disagreed but would abide by their decision.
"That is the way government is supposed to work," he said.
The commissioners agreed unanimously at Monday's meeting to allow the county parks advisory board to develop a long-term strategic plan.
The commissioners also agreed to revisit whether Swingle should be allowed to promote his novels on the county website. A page on the prosecutor's website features images of the book covers, which are linked to the Mystery Writers of America website. Previously, the links took visitors to the online bookseller Amazon.com, but those links were removed in April.
Swingle said he would discuss the matter during the commissioner's meeting Thursday.