Three years ago this month, after two years of wrangling over the job description, the Washington County Commissioners hired the county's first fire coordinator. Now that Roger "Jerry" Reed is leaving the post, the county's Volunteer Fire/Rescue Association wants the position turned into a glorified secretary. If the commissioners cave in on this issue, they deserve all the confusion that such an abdication of leadership would bring.
Citizens and the volunteers themselves deserve better, which is why we hope the commissioners will hire someone who's capable of doing more than paperwork for the association and for county residents.
The recent proposal to increase the fire/rescue companies' share of tip-jar gambling proceeds to build a new county fire training center is just one example of an issue the county needs some in-house expertise on. It's not at all clear right now if there's a need for the $625,000 facility, given that the City of Hagerstown already has a center that might be upgraded for joint use.