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What Do You Think?

October 24, 2009

Editor's note: The Herald-Mail invites readers to answer poll questions on its Web site, www.herald-mail.com. Readers also may submit comments when voting. A sampling of edited reader comments will run on The Herald-Mail's Opinion page on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.

The question posted Wednesday on The Herald-Mail's Web site was: Should the position of county treasurer be changed from an elected office to a hired staff position as suggested Tuesday by the Washington County Commissioners?

"This is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, do you want to take the power away from the people? On the other hand, over 50 percent of voters have pretty much no clue what the person they are voting for even stands for or even know the most basic information about the person. So, what would be the right thing to do?"

"I'd like to see what sort of policies the treasurer's office has proposed and/or passed over the years to decide if they should continue to hold elections for this position."

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"First, (current treasurer) Todd Hershey is a pretty good guy, and I have no beef with the Washington County Treasurer's office. That being said, the position and title of 'treasurer' is more traditional than functional. Perhaps we could simply use a good accountant."

"Many people probably oppose this change because they feel that the treasurer will lose accountability to the public. That is a legitimate point, but we must understand that all appointed officials answer to the elected officials who place them in those positions and those elected officials are accountable to the voters. If we don't like the people the politicians place in positions of power over our lives, then we need to let them know it at the ballot box."

"It probably should be more like a civil service job where you have to have certain qualifications like education, experience, etc, in the field. I like the idea of it just being a position filled by the personnel department after advertising the position in the news media, like plain old regular jobs like mine."

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