Advertisement

Nigh expresses concern about 'two plus two' meetings

February 15, 2006|by DANIEL J. SERNOVITZ

Hagerstown City Councilwoman Penny M. Nigh said Tuesday she believes meetings between small groups of city and county officials are undermining the responsibility of public officials to deliberate in public.

"They elected five commissioners and five council people, and all of us should be there when there is decision making," she said Tuesday, during a council work session attended by county staff members and the Washington County Commissioners.

Nigh raised concerns about the perceived secrecy of "two plus two" meetings and said she felt the discussions involving two members of city council and two commissioners have covered far more than what initial sessions were established to accomplish. At the very least, she said, the remainder of the council and the commissioners should be informed about what was discussed and accomplished at those meetings.

Hagerstown City Council members Kelly S. Cromer and Kristin B. Aleshire are members of the "two plus two" meetings, as are County Commissioners James F. Kercheval and Doris J. Nipps.

Advertisement

Kercheval said there have been other private sessions between council members and the commissioners, including a meeting he had with Nigh on the county's central booking system, and that the sessions are a way to make sure county and city officials are able to talk about common concerns.

Commissioner John C. Munson said the commissioners are given updates about what goes on at the meetings, which he said are a way for smaller groups to exchange a free flow of information.

"I don't think that the 'two plus two' was meant to hurt anybody," he said.

The commissioners and council members discussed some ways to alleviate Nigh's concerns, including someone sending out a mass e-mail following the sessions about what was discussed and having periodic meetings between all the council members and commissioners.

The Herald-Mail Articles
|
|
|