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Woman announces plans to challenge Jefferson County Commissioner in '06

October 20, 2005|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - A longtime Jefferson County resident who has worked as a law clerk for three local judges and who manages a beef farm in Summit Point, W.Va., has announced her intention to run for the Jefferson County Commission seat held by Jane Tabb.

Frances Berry Morgan, a Democrat, filed precandidacy papers for the post Wednesday, which allows her to begin fundraising.

Tabb, a Republican, said Wednesday she will run again next year when her six-year term expires.

Morgan, 42, said she is concerned about the rate of growth in the county and is particularly concerned about development exceeding the ability of public services to support it.

Morgan said she does not want to see a situation where growth outpaces public services and county residents possibly face tax increases to pay for new services.

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"It's bad for people to be in that situation," Morgan said.

Morgan said she wants to see the county make adequate plans to handle growth. Morgan said she does not have any specific ideas on growth control and plans to study the issue further.

"I'm not by any means an anti-growth person," Morgan said.

Morgan said in a statement Wednesday that she has grown to love the county since moving here more than 30 years ago to her paternal grandfather's farm in Summit Point.

Morgan currently manages that farm - known as Aylmere Farm - and typically raises about 40 head of beef cattle. Morgan is married to Aram Hessami and helps Hessami run his Avanti Restorante restaurant in Charles Town.

Morgan remarks in her statement about the county's attributes that make it attractive, such as its rivers, history, its proximity to cultural attractions in Washington, D.C., and the "fields of green and gold and brown.

"These are indeed 'harvest hills' - but how long will they remain? Will our bountiful agricultural harvest continue on in the next decades, or decline and eventually disappear altogether? And if so, what will our county look like and be like then in terms of beauty and quality of life for its citizens?" Morgan said in her statement.

Morgan, who is not related to Jefferson County Commission President Rusty Morgan, said she is concerned about a lack of business growth in the county. That concern has been expressed often before by people who want to see more business to generate a stronger tax base for the county.

Morgan said she does not have any specific ideas on how to attract business but wants to explore the issue and others in talks with people on the campaign trail.

Morgan has a law degree from Georgetown University Law Center and has worked as a law clerk for three local circuit judges.

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