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November 17, 2008

Last week's question:

Late last month, the Washington County Commissioners heard a panel recommend that future county board members be paid $38,000, which is $8,000 more than present members earn. What, in your view, would justify such an increase?

o Bringing thousands of new, good-paying jobs here. - 18 votes (21 percent)

o Cutting property taxes significantly. - 12 votes (14 percent)

o Turning the five-year-old vision of creating new or renovated owner-occupied market-rate housing in downtown Hagerstown into reality. - 10 votes (12 percent)

o Ending the decades-long battle over annexation and revenues with the City of Hagerstown. - 1 vote (1 percent)

o Nothing. The more we pay them, the more likely it is we'll never get rid of the lousy ones.- 45 votes (52 percent)


Editor's note: In the future, personal attacks and insults will be edited out. Thank you.

o posted by notlaffen, Friday 7 November 2008 21:33


This is an interesting question and much better than the question on the home page. This requires some real thinking so I don't expect many comments. The commissioners can not bring thousands of new, good-paying jobs here because the work force is undereducated for good paying jobs. The commissioners can't cut property taxes significantly because that would mean that they would have to cut spending and cutting spending is against their religion.

o posted by notlaffen, Friday 7 November 2008 21:45

Downtown Hagerstown does not appear to be a good candidate for owner-occupied housing so that is a real long shot for the commissioners. There might be a slim chance of ending the battle with the City of Hagerstown but that shouldn't warrant any pay increase. The last answer, the most popular one, presumes that some of the commissioners are lousy but I wonder then why the voters elected the commissioners.

o posted by notlaffen, Friday 7 November 2008 22:03

If the commissioners insisted on getting our money's worth out of WCPS, addressed the increasing volume of trash in a new way, purchased more development easements on rural properties, voted for shopping center zoning on the east side of Hagerstown, revisited the volunteer fire departments and rescue services, quit borrowing more money every year, and maybe decided to pass on the next airport runway, emergency communications system, downtown parking lot...etc, that comes along, then the commissioners would earn an increase in salary.

o posted by Five, Monday 10 November 2008 11:03

The BOCC provide 40% of the BOE budget per state law of which an elected BOE manages. The BOCC are working on a comp plan to address recycling, and waste reduction. There will be a shopping center on the east end of the Dual. The fire/ems plan is currently under review. Borrowing was reduced in last budget cycle as well as debt retirement increased. The feds and state paid 95% of the runway cost and employment is growing out there, see Seirra Nevada report from last week. If we are ever to fill the 1 million square feet of vacant building space downtown, which in turn preserves green space, then we will need parking facilities just like every other thriving city has.

o posted by RedskinsFan, Monday 10 November 2008 14:52

notlaffen: I disagree with your comment saying that the workforce is undereducated for good paying jobs. There are too few high paying jobs in the county, so we go elsewhere to work. Try driving eastbound on I-70 in the morning. There are plenty of qualified and educated people in this county, they just commute to where the jobs are.

o posted by olddude, Tuesday 11 November 2008 11:38

Notlaffen doesn't get away from his computer long enough to see what's happening on I70 or anywhere else. Does he actually want the BOCC to spend more money on the fire and rescue services!!?? WOW! I thought he was opposed to all spending. Maybe he's getting old enough to be worried about a heart attack. How about it, Notlaffen, are you ok with spending on things that may benefit you?

o posted by notlaffen, Tuesday 11 November 2008 20:21

Five: our BOE only manages the rubber stamp; the BOCC spent what ($150K) for a "PLAN" for waste management; we all may be dead before a shopping center appears in the east; the fire/ems plan is always under review because it is never fixed; the county borrowed more than the amount of debt that was reduced; the true costs of the runway to the county is probably close to $10M and, of course employment is growing -someone has to maintain that facility and those are good paying jobs for friends of the in group; and, what comes first-parking facilities or downtown development. If we build enough parking facilities, we won't have to badmouth the lack of development because there won't be anything left to develop.

o posted by notlaffen, Tuesday 11 November 2008 20:29

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