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Nipps files for Commissioners race

May 17, 2002|BY LAURA ERNDE

laurae@herald-mail.com

After eight years on the School Board, Doris J. Nipps is seeking a spot on the Washington County Board of Commissioners.

"With my experience, I have some things to offer the community. I'm concerned about the future of Washington County and I'd like to be a part of moving the county forward," she said.

Nipps, a Republican, filed Thursday to run for the office.

Because the five commissioners control the purse strings of the Washington County Board of Education, Nipps said she expects people to assume that her motivation for running is to boost education spending.

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But Nipps said that's not the case.

"There's only so much money and we need to spend it wisely," she said.

That being said, Nipps didn't rule out giving education a larger piece of the pie if it is warranted. She also said she believes that education can be one of the best economic development tools.

"I'm not there to give education more money, but I'm there to do whatever is best for the county," she said.

Her knowledge of the county's education budget as well as the countywide budget would be an asset to the commissioners, she said.

While the relationship between the two elected boards has been rocky at times, Nipps said monthly meetings have fostered a better understanding.

"It's important we all work together. We all have the same goal," she said.

Nipps described herself as someone who does her homework and makes thoughtful decisions.

Nipps said she spent the last six months pondering whether to run. When Republican Commissioner William J. Wivell announced in March that he would run for the Maryland House of Delegates, that clinched her decision.

"I've enjoyed public service and that's the way I look at this. I just look at it as another avenue to continue what I've been doing in public education," she said.

Nipps, 50, lives at 20236 American Way, Hagerstown. She coordinates the volunteer committees at Habitat for Humanity in Hagerstown.

The five commissioners elected on Nov. 5 will each make $30,000 a year, up from the current $20,000.

If Nipps is not elected to the commissioners, she will finish the last two years of her School Board term. That job pays $4,800 a year.

With Nipps' filing, four Republicans and two Democrats are running for commissioners so far. One of them, Democrat Paul Swartz, is an incumbent.

The filing deadline is July 1.

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