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Morgan, Corliss win Jefferson County Commission seats

November 06, 2002|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - It was a complete Republican victory in the race for two Jefferson County Commission seats in Tuesday's general election, according to complete but unofficial results.

Republican Rusty Morgan defeated G. Warren Mickey for the Kabletown district seat and Republican Greg Corliss beat former Jefferson County Commissioner Greg Lance in the race for the Harpers Ferry district seat.

With all 29 precincts reporting, Morgan collected 5,517 votes compared to Mickey's 5,015, and Corliss garnered 6,011 votes compared to Lance's 4,474 votes, according to returns.

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Both races had centered around growth-related issues such as making sure there are enough schools to serve the county's growing population and setting up impact fees to help pay for them.

The candidates also debated how to manage residential growth.

Morgan supported charging developers an impact fee as high as $13,000 per house, but Mickey feared that would cause house values to increase, triggering tax increases.

Mickey said he talked to both Jefferson County Assessor Ginger Bordier and Prosecuting Attorney Michael D. Thompson, and they agreed large impact fees would raise taxes.

Corliss, a retired U.S. Marines pilot who now operates a 50-acre beef farm near Charles Town, said he is concerned about the future of the county because it is basically on "autopilot" with no plans to deal with the population increase that is expected in coming years.

Corliss said the county needs to conduct population projections for different growth areas and determine what services will be needed to serve those areas.

Lance said he saw the Corliss and Morgan victory as a "no-growth vote" for the county. He said he fears Jefferson County will become an "elitist community" with the high impact fees that are being sought for the county.

Lance said he was always the candidate looking out for the interest of the middle class.

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