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Aleshire says water, sewer are county's top priorities

July 20, 2006|by KAREN HANNA

HAGERSTOWN - Washington County Commissioners candidate Kristin B. Aleshire believes he has a way to make the development process more rational: Build county plans based on water and sewer capacities and needs, and let future development requests stream from the county's own priorities.

"We need to pick something that's the top of the umbrella, so to speak, and water and sewer are the top of the umbrella," Aleshire said.

Aleshire, 30, of Hagerstown is one of 12 Democrats who will appear on the Sept. 12 primary ballot for Commissioner. The general election is Nov. 7.

Aleshire, who is finishing the first year of his second term on Hagerstown City Council, has served on joint committees studying city and county issues. He said he plans to continue serving on the council if he is not elected county commissioner.

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A member of the Washington County Water and Sewer Infrastructure Committee, Aleshire said he believes the county could run out of sewer capacity within 15 years, and the limited resource should drive planning decisions about the pace and type of development the county allows.

"My goal is for this county to figure out how we're going to use what we have left and where we're going to use it before it's all used up," he said.

For Aleshire, the first look at the city's budget each year is as exciting as Christmas. He said he only feels prepared for meetings if he is better prepared than everyone else.

"I think the goal every time an elected board or elected official looks at a budget - just as you would look at your own budget - is to separate the needs from the wants. I don't think it gets much more complicated than that," he said.

Aleshire is a town planner for Myersville and Middletown in Frederick County, Md. He serves on the Frederick County, Md., council of governments, which brings town and county governments together to talk through issues. Aleshire said he would support the creation of committees representing various levels of government throughout Washington County.

As a member of a two-plus-two committee of City Council members and County Commissioners, Aleshire said he believes communication between the city and county has improved.

"We have the ability to sit down and disagree and come up with a resolution. I know that sounds contradictory, but it's not ... because before, all we did was sit down in different rooms and disagree," he said.

Beside improving communication between the county and its municipalities, Aleshire said the County Commissioners should work on maintaining dialogue with the University of Maryland at Hagerstown.

An educated citizenry is the county's greatest resource, he said.

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