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Councilman to remain Boonsboro utilities liaison

July 07, 2009|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

BOONSBORO -- Boonsboro's Town Council decided Monday that Councilman Kevin M. Chambers could keep one of his roles on the town's utilities commission after a dispute among council members over Chambers' service on the commission.

During the town council's June meeting, two council members, Natalie Mose and Barbara Wetzel, said the town attorney's opinion was that Chambers could not serve as liaison to the Boonsboro Municipal Utilities Commission and chairman of the commission.

Town Manager Debra Smith said in a phone interview Monday night that the town's attorney found that Chambers could serve in both roles, but could not vote. Neither position has voting rights, except in the case of a tie, which the chairman breaks.

The vote to keep Chambers as liaison to the utilities commission had no effect on his role as chairman because commission members elect their chairman.

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The vote Monday to maintain Chambers as liaison for the utilities commission was 5-0. Chambers abstained from the vote.

"It says in our charter, in the charter amendment for the utilities commission, that the liaison is not a voting member of the commission," Wetzel said Monday.

Mayor Charles F. "Skip" Kauffman Jr. told her that was true of other commissions as well.

Wetzel said the town council had a discussion about the distinction between a liaison and a commission member during its monthly workshop.

"I know you did," Kauffman said. "This is not new news."

Chambers was serving as a commission member when he was elected to the town council in 2006.

He then was asked to serve as a liaison, and his four year-term in that capacity ended last month.

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