Washington County Commission briefs

October 13, 2009|By HEATHER KEELS

Department of Emergency Communications authorized to accept $65,522.50 in grants

The Washington County Commissioners voted Tuesday to authorize the Department of Emergency Communications to accept $65,522.50 in special project grant funding from the Emergency Number System Board (ENSB).

The funding will be used for licensing costs and software, Emergency Communications Director Bardonna J. Woods said.

The Emergency Number System Board manages the "911 fee" assessed on all land-based and cellular connections in Maryland, Woods said. The current fee in Washington County is $1, and the ENSB returns 75 cents to the county to cover operational costs while the remaining 25 cents is held in a statewide account and awarded for special projects.

Further study needed before accounts receivable position is filled

The Washington County Commissioners voted Tuesday that further study is needed before the county commits to filling a position in the county treasurer's office that will become vacant Jan. 1 due to a retirement.


The position, an accounts receivable technician, is one of five employees in the office and is responsible for customer service and payment processing, Washington County Treasurer Todd Hershey said.

Commissioner William J. Wivell said that due to budget constraints, the county needs to hold off on filling any positions that it possibly can.

Hershey told the commissioners that with such a small department, losing even one position will leave the department drastically short-staffed.

Hershey said he understood the county's need for fiscal conservatism, but he said he already had held the line by keeping his office staff at the same level for 22 years despite increasing workloads.

Barr to represent commissioners on legislative panel

Washington County Commissioners President John F. Barr will represent the commissioners on the legislative committee of the Maryland Association of Counties during the 2010 session of the Maryland General Assembly, the commissioners decided Tuesday.

Kristin B. Aleshire will serve as alternate.

The committee meets in Annapolis each Wednesday during the session from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Barr said.

United Way officials visit Commissioners to encourage county employees to contribute

United Way officials visited the Washington County Commissioners on Tuesday to encourage county employees to contribute to the United Way during this year's fundraising campaign.

Last year, county employees donated about $45,000 to the United Way, Executive Director Leah Gayman said. That funding touched about 1,758 people, Gayman said.

This year's United Way fundraising goal is $1.8 million, campaign co-chairman Gregory I. Snook said.

"Our campaign is really built by people who give just a few dollars a week," Gayman said.

United Way officials also thanked county staff and officials who participated in the United Way Day of Caring, including Commissioners Kristin B. Aleshire and James F. Kercheval.

Dave Jones, campaign manager for Community Health Charities of Maryland, also was at the commissioners' meeting to encourage county employees to donate to Community Health Charities, which includes 49 major health organizations throughout the state.

Seven county employees recognized for completing management courses

The Washington County Commissioners on Tuesday recognized seven county employees who have completed college courses in management through Hagerstown Community College.

The employees are Steven D. Bowders, assistant fleet manager, Highway Department; Julie A. Cade, executive assistant to the county administrator; John S. Hobbs, chief of capital projects, Engineering Department; Kevin L. Lewis, director of the Division of Emergency Services; Richard L. Shilling Jr., senior electrician, Water Quality; Jennifer L. Swisher, deputy director of administration, Division of Emergency Communications; and Jeff A. Weller, maintenance trades worker, Buildings, Grounds and Parks Department.

The employees are midway through a management certificate program developed for county employees with management potential, safety administrator Brian Overcash said. Each was awarded a letter of recognition.

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