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County to form board to write charter

August 09, 2006|by TARA REILLY

The Washington County Commissioners continued their support of a possible change in the county's type of government by agreeing Tuesday to form a nine-member board to write a charter.

The next step will be for the County Commissioners to look for members to serve on the board.

The commissioners are pursing a possible switch from the commissioner form of government to charter home rule.

A change to charter home rule likely would lessen the county's dependency on state legislators in creating some local laws, county officials have said.

The county would be governed according to what is written in its charter. County voters approve the charter and have the ability to challenge some local laws by referendum.

Also, under charter home rule, the commissioners' name would change to the County Council.

The commissioners plan to discuss possible candidates for the charter board next month. The commissioners each will choose one appointee, and the remaining four members will be chosen by consensus.

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Residents could be voting on a charter by the November 2008 election.

The commissioners have asked anyone interested in serving on the charter board to contact Joni Bittner, county clerk, at 240-313-2204 or to apply on the county's Web site at www.washco-md.net.

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