Planned leadership group seeks funds

September 15, 2005|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

Organizers of a proposed community leadership program struck out Tuesday in an attempt to get city funding.

Ross Rhoads, who was representing the group, asked Hagerstown for $20,000 to help get the program going.

But city council members sat silent when Rhoads finished his presentation.

When Mayor Richard F. Trump asked where the city could find money, Councilman Lewis C. Metzner spoke up.

"I expect the council is not interested," Metzner said.

"I don't think we should go there quite yet," Trump replied.

"I think we are there," Metzner said.

Rhoads said the leadership group asked Washington County for $40,000 and received $20,000.

Commissioners Vice President William J. Wivell confirmed that amount Tuesday evening. He said the vote was 3-2 in favor of the contribution; he and Commissioner John Munson voted no.


Rhoads said the leadership program would build upon and enhance Leadership Hagerstown, which started in 1987.

Leadership Hagerstown brings together people from business, government and other groups for several weeks each year to examine and experience aspects of their community. A new class is selected each year.

The program is run by the Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce.

An outline of the new Washington County leadership program says its budget would be about $150,000. That includes $35,000 for an executive director and $20,000 for an administrative assistant.

Rhoads said funding will come through a mix of tuition, program fees, dues, grants, business sponsorship and government allocations.

The group wanted Hagerstown to contribute $20,000 to start and about $10,000 each subsequent year.

Trump urged the council to consider giving money, perhaps in the next budget year. He stressed the importance of training leaders to keep nonprofits going.

But no council member spoke in favor of the contribution.

The new program, which is expected to start in September 2006, would be based at Hagerstown Community College, but would be separate from the school, Rhoads said.

The new program would continue Leadership Hagerstown and also would have an alumni association, a junior leadership program, executive training and a program for grooming people to serve on government and nonprofit boards, according to Rhoads' presentation.

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