In Annapolis

March 06, 2000

ANNAPOLIS - One member of the Washington County Delegation to the Maryland General Assembly raised doubts last week about forcing the Washington County Commissioners to put more money toward their $52.3 million water and sewer debt.

"We have different responsibilities as state lawmakers. Let them do their job and let us do our job," said Del. Joseph R. Bartlett, R-Frederick/Washington.

A short time later in the meeting between state and county elected officials, someone accidentally referred to Del. Christopher B. Shank, the debt plan's primary author, as "Commissioner Shank."

The room broke out in laughter.

Del. Sue Hecht, D-Frederick/Washington, said she must have made a Freudian slip.

Shank, R-Washington, has been mistaken before for a relative of former Washington County Commissioner. During the 1998 campaign, Shank distanced himself from Commissioner John Shank, who lost his seat in the election.



DNR won't refund county fire money

ANNAPOLIS - The Maryland Department of Natural Resources won't refund the $12,000 that the Washington County Commissioners paid for firefighting expenses on state forest land.

Del. Christopher B. Shank, R-Washington, had met with DNR officials to get the billing practice stopped.

But since the county had already agreed to settle the earlier bill, there's nothing state lawmakers can do to get the money back, Shank said.


Hecht rethinks vote on tip jar proceeds

ANNAPOLIS - Del. Sue Hecht, wants to change her vote on a proposal to cut charities' share of tip jar gambling profits.

Hecht, D-Frederick/Washington, last month agreed to the plan, which would allow the Washington County Commissioners to put $250,000 a year more toward reducing their $52.3 million water and sewer debt.

But now she's having second thoughts.

"I'm just uncomfortable, personally, about that. Washington County does a good job of supporting nonprofits. I don't want to do anything to change that," she said.

Hecht may ask for a reconsideration of the vote, which had passed the Washington County Delegation to the Maryland General Assembly by a vote of six to one.


Ways and Means likes McKee's way

ANNAPOLIS - A local effort to get the Rohrersville Band exempted from property taxes appears headed for quick approval by the Maryland General Assembly.

The Maryland Department of Legislative Services determined that the exemption would cost the state $30 a year.

Del. Sheila Hixson, chairwoman of the Ways and Means Committee, joked that Del. Robert A. McKee, R-Washington, must have stayed awake all night thinking of a bill that would cost the state so little.

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