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Community Rescue Service leadership in dispute

September 25, 2002|by MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

There seemed to be a difference of opinion Tuesday about whether the Community Rescue Service board of directors has a new president, and even about whether an election of officers was held last week.

Some CRS members said an election was held last Wednesday, and that Terry Gearhart was elected president of the ambulance and rescue company that serves about 30,000 homes in and around Hagerstown.

Other board members and the executive director said Tuesday that no legal election was held and that Ron Horn remained CRS president.

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"I am still president of the board as far as I'm concerned," Horn said Tuesday night.

Horn refused to go into details about the Sept. 18 meeting, although he said legal counsel has been contacted.

CRS board member Barry Nickelsberg said 10 members of the board were present at the Sept. 18 meeting.

"I nominated Terry Gearhart as president and board member Bill Breichner, Hagerstown's mayor, seconded the nomination," Nickelsberg said. "Ron Horn was nominated but declined the nomination."

Gearhart was elected by voice vote, Nickelsberg said. Bonnie Forst was elected vice president by voice vote and Pat Keller retained her job as secretary.

"The next day, Horn wrote a letter as president, said it was not an official election and called for a special meeting on Sept. 25," Nickelsberg said Tuesday.

That meeting scheduled for tonight has been moved to Oct. 16, according to CRS Executive Director J. Michael Nye.

Nye said Tuesday no election was held on Sept. 18.

"There was a lot of confusion that night," Nye said. "We were misled and distracted."

CRS board member and Chief Chris Amos said an election was supposed to have been held in August but no meeting was held that month so it was to be held on Sept. 18.

Amos said the organization has problems to work out but he believes those problems should be resolved internally. He did not go into details about what he meant.

"We need to work this out so we can serve the people that we need to serve," Amos said.

Gearhart didn't return calls Tuesday.

CRS recently has faced budgetary problems and layoffs.

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