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Burns running for Jefferson County Commission

January 13, 2008|By DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.VA.

A Harpers Ferry Democrat who is questioning management practices in county government and how they are handling land use in the county has announced his intention to run for Jefferson County Commission this year.

Edward "Ed" Burns, 61, of 307 Wildlife Way, is running for the seat occupied by Greg Corliss, who is not seeking re-election.

Burns retired after 23 years with the federal government and he spent the last few years working for the U.S. State Department.

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Burns said he could not go into detail about that job, other than to say he worked in an overseas building program and was responsible for 23 embassies.

Among his platform issues is improving the culture within county government.

Burns said it is his perception that some county employees feel they cannot answer questions posed to them for fear of retaliation from others in county government. Burns said he also is troubled that there is no chain of command or mission statement in county government.

"They just have bad management practices all the way around," Burns said.

The commission has been in the process of reviewing new land-use regulations, which have drawn criticism from some residents who say they are complicated and contradictory.

Burns said he thinks such proposals should be put on the ballot for county residents to decide.

Burns lives on Blue Ridge Mountain, where the new regulations have caused particular concern because of proposed restrictions on sloped lots there.

Commission terms are six years and the salary is $30,800.

Also seeking the Democratic nomination to the Harpers Ferry commission seat are Lyn Widmyer and Steven Pace. Former Jefferson County Commissioner Greg Lance said he also is running, although he has not filed papers.

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