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Snook likely to be next commission leader

November 30, 1998|By Scott Butki

Early indications suggest Gregory I. Snook will be reappointed president of the Washington County Commissioners after the new commissioners are sworn in Tuesday.

Snook is the only commissioner returning to office, and he received the most votes in the Nov. 3 election race.

The question about who should serve as president has been discussed informally among the commissioners, Snook said.

The new commissioners have told him they do not want to be president, Snook said. He will continue as president if that is what they want, he added.

"I will do whatever the group wants to do," Snook said.

While traditionally the president belongs to the political party that has the majority on the board, there will be no majority party on the next board. Instead, there will be two Republicans, William Wivell and Snook, one Independent, Iseminger, and two Democrats, Paul Swartz and John Schnebly.

Iseminger said Wednesday he is leaning toward recommending Snook continue as president.

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"Greg seems to be the logical person at this point," he said. "It keeps a steadying hand."

The commissioners will hold their first meeting Tuesday after being sworn in.

Also, Iseminger will formally step down Tuesday as chairman of the Washington County Planning Commission. The commission will need to find a replacement at its next meeting, which is on Dec. 7.

The commissioners will need to appoint a member to serve on the planning commission, Iseminger said. With his experience, he said he thinks he would be good for that job.

"We will try to use people's talents," he said.

Before the Nov. 17 commissioners meeting and after one on Nov. 24, the new commissioners attended two-hour orientation sessions. They heard short presentations from some of the different department heads, who explained their functions.

At the end of the Nov. 24 meeting, County Administrator Rodney Shoop briefed the commissioners on the schedule for their first day in office.

The swearing-in ceremony is at 10 a.m. at the Washington County Courthouse. A reception follows at 11:30 a.m.

Their first meeting is at 1 p.m., but it is a short agenda. They are scheduled to choose a president. They will also be asked to re-appoint three positions. The positions are county clerk, currently held by Joni Bittner; county administrator, currently Shoop; and budget and finance director, currently Debra Bastian.

Snook asked the new commissioners if they would like for the county to continue holding night meetings on the fourth Tuesday of each month.

Each of the new commissioners said that practice should continue.

"It gives the constituents, those who work, a chance to show up," Swartz said.

Snook asked if the commissioners wanted to hold meetings Dec. 22 and 29 because usually there are no meetings on the weeks surrounding Christmas and New Year's Day.

They decided that they would probably not hold meetings on those dates unless there was something pressing that needed to be discussed and voted on.

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