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No joint meeting in the cards for city, county

November 25, 2002|by SCOTT BUTKI

scottb@herald-mail.com

A joint meeting between the Hagerstown City Council and the Washington County Commissioners to try to iron out differences will not happen until after three current commissioners leave office, Commissioners President Gregory I. Snook said Friday.

Hagerstown Mayor William M. Breichner and Councilman Lewis C. Metzner had expressed hope at recent council meetings that one more meeting with the current commissioners could be arranged.

"That is not going to happen," Snook said. There is just not enough time to schedule a joint meeting, he said.

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City officials wanted the meeting before three commissioners' terms ended because they believe there will be a learning curve and time delays while the new commissioners get up to speed, Breichner and Metzner have said.

Snook said the learning curve for new commissioners is usually about six months to a year.

The current slate of commissioners has its final meeting Tuesday.

The new commissioners will be sworn in on Dec. 3.

Commissioners Paul L. Swartz and Bert L. Iseminger lost re-election bids, while John L. Schnebly did not seek re-election.

They are being replaced by Republican newcomers James F. Kercheval, Doris Nipps and John C. Munson.

Among the issues the city said needed to be discussed at a joint meeting is a possible change to a proposed city-county sewer agreement that is holding up proposed amendments to the agreement. The alterations would enable the city and county sewer systems to be connected.

The city also wants to reach an agreement with the county on a proposal to revise the tax differential formula, Breichner said.

The tax differential, or setoff, represents the amount of money the county does not have to spend on things such as police or parks for various municipalities, resulting in those cities getting money back.

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