water and sewer advisers quit

November 21, 1996


Staff Writer

Four members of the Washington County Water and Sewer Advisory Commission, including the chairman, announced their resignations Wednesday night at the same meeting at which three newly appointed members were sworn in.

In a letter to County Commissioners President Gregory I. Snook, Advisory Commission Chairman Samuel Phillips and members Robert Holsinger, Joseph Robeson and Peggy Bushey said "there is no point in acting as an advisory commission when our advice is neither considered nor followed."

"The Board of County Commissioners continue to make unilateral decisions regarding projects, commission size, commission membership, building leases, customer credits, etc., leaving no true purpose for the advisory board as it presently stands," the letter continued.


"The County Commissioners' numerous no-confidence votes leave the advisory commission with only one choice; that of letting the County Commissioners find new people for the advisory commission whose advice the Commissioners can respect."

The resignations are effective Dec. 31.

County Commissioner R. Lee Downey, who attended the meeting, said afterward that he wasn't surprised.

The County Commissioners recently decided to expand the five-member Advisory Commission to seven members. They also named a replacement for member Russell Weaver, who resigned earlier.

The County Commissioners selected Bonnie Parks and Mike Armel, both of Halfway, and Clarence Scheer, of Woodburn Drive, to fill the vacancies.

Advisory commission members weren't told that their number would be increased to seven until two new members were already appointed by the County Commissioners, Bushey said.

"It's not a personal issue" about who was appointed, she said.

Phillips said the County Commissioners were "not paying any attention" to the advisory commission's recommendations.

Holsinger could not be reached for comment and Robeson declined to comment.

Parks, Scheer and Armel said they planned to keep an open mind and would try to work with the County Commissioners.

"Sometimes I think a clean piece of paper is the way to go," Scheer said.

Armel said of the advisory commission, "they're not the only ones who haven't been listened to."

Snook, who was not at the meeting, said he wanted to publicly thank the four resigning members for their hard work during a tough period.

"I personally wasn't aware of any major issue that we didn't talk about with them," he said.

Commissioner Ronald L. Bowers, who also wasn't at the meeting, said that while he was sorry to hear of the resignations, "they shouldn't have let personalities get in the way of good judgment."

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