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Forrest files for Commissioners seat

June 02, 2006|by PEPPER BALLARD

Washington County Board of Education President W. Edward Forrest filed Thursday to run for a seat on the Washington County Commissioners, making him the eighth man to file for the board's five seats, all of which are up for election.

No incumbents had filed for re-election by Thursday.

Forrest, 43, of 20437 Old Forge Road in Hagerstown, is in the middle of his second term on the School Board. He would have to resign from the School Board if elected.

"I'm very committed to public service and the timing is right for me," Forrest said of his decision to file for county commissioner. "The issues in front of the county are important."

Terry Baker, John F. Barr, Nathan Alan Green, Edward L. Knepper and Forrest have filed as Republicans for the seats. Mike Spinnler, Paul L. Swartz and John E. Weller have filed as Democrats.

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The deadline to file is July 3.

The primary election is Sept. 12, and the general election is Nov. 7.

Forrest, a pharmacist at Martin's Food Market on Dual Highway, said Thursday that he believes the biggest issue for the county is "managing growth." He said tax relief, "specifically for senior citizens," needs to be considered. Forrest also said that "property taxes need to be evaluated."

If elected, Forrest said he would consider School Board requests with "a balanced approach. A request wouldn't be granted carte blanche," he said.

Forrest said his experience working with School Board budgets will be helpful.

Elected to the School Board first in 2000, Forrest said he is most proud of the adjustments the School Board made in Washington County Public Schools in response to the federal No Child Left Behind act, including the expansion of programs offered to students.

The federal act is designed to close the achievement gap between schools and make sure all students, including disadvantaged groups, are academically proficient.

He said the School Board worked hard to develop its Master Plan in response to the federal act and has reset priorities each year as a result of it.

When Commissioner Doris J. Nipps, who served on the School Board, was elected in 2002 as a Washington County Commissioner in the middle of her term, a list compiled by a screening panel of prospective School Board successors was passed to Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich, who appointed W. Princeton Young to finish out her term. Young sought election in 2004, but lost.

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