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Wivell campaigns on controlled spending

July 11, 2006|by TARA REILLY

SMITHSBURG - In what has become the trademark of his eight years as a Washington County Commissioner, William J. Wivell is seeking a third term to continue his push for controlled spending and lower debt.

Wivell, 42, of Smithsburg, is currently vice president of the board.

Voters elected Wivell to his first term in 1998.

Twenty-four candidates - 12 Republicans and 12 Democrats - are running for County Commissioner in the Sept. 12 primary. The general election is Nov. 7.

Wivell, a Republican, has loudly criticized the commissioners over votes on spending during his eight years in office.

Most recently, he voted against the county's operating and capital budgets, over disagreements about spending.

He said the budgets, which three of the commissioners approved, called for too much borrowing. This, despite growth generating more revenue for the county, he said.

"We've got more money coming in to the county than we've ever had, and yet we're also borrowing more," said Wivell, a certified public accountant.

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Wivell said the commissioners, against his objections, voted to borrow more than $12 million this fiscal year, which began July 1.

He said that's among the highest amount in county history.

"County government spending has gone in double digits for the last four years," Wivell said.

While he disagrees with the fiscal direction of the county, Wivell said the commissioners have done a good job paying for education over the past four years.

He also enjoys being able to help county residents with their concerns, including animal control issues, roads and bridge projects.

Wivell said the current board of commissioners has strengthened the county's Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance (APFO), which, in part, determines whether a school is adequate to handle growth. If not, a developer must reach an agreement with the county over how to resolve the adequacy issue, which might mean paying for additional classrooms or new schools.

"I think we've done a lot in that regard," Wivell said. "The building industry worked with us for the most part, and I think they've been willing to pay their fair share."

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