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Baker, Barr switching roles on commissioners

December 07, 2010|By HEATHER KEELS | heather.keels@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN — In its first action in open session, the new Washington County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to appoint Terry Baker as its president and John F. Barr as vice president.
The decision was in keeping with county tradition, in which the commissioner who receives the most votes is typically named the board’s president and the commissioner who receives the second-highest number of votes becomes vice president.
Baker, who was the vice president last term, received 25,360 votes, the most among commissioner candidates in this year’s general election.
Barr, who was president last term, was second with 25,025.
The commissioners president presides at meetings and often represents the commissioners at functions. The president’s salary is $33,000, $3,000 higher than that of the other commissioners.
Barr made the motion nominating Baker for president.
He said after the meeting he did so “to dispel any misconceptions that there have been any hard feelings between Terry and I.”
“We’ve been working together for four years and have been good working partners,” Barr said, adding that he was following county precedent regarding vote tallies.
Asked if he thought Baker would make a good commissioners president, Barr said, “I think so,” but noted that the many public appearances expected of the president might pose scheduling challenges for Baker, who is a teacher at Washington County Technical High School.
“He certainly doesn’t have the flexible time schedule that I have as a self-employed businessman, and so it’s going to be tough on Terry to be able to be accessible to all the functions that go on during the week, and I wish him well with that,” Barr said. “I can list a half a dozen things in the next two weeks that are during the day time that he’s going to be expected to make an appearance to.”
Nevertheless, in conversations before Tuesday’s meeting, Baker had said he thought he was up to the job, Barr said.
“We’ve talked about it ever since the second of November,” he said.
After the commissioners’ vote, Baker said it was an honor to accept what he said was an “awesome responsibility.”
“I want to thank all the citizens for getting out and voting and putting their trust in me to help guide the county for the next four years,” Baker said. “I promise to guide it with honesty, integrity and trust.”
The commissioners also agreed Tuesday which commissioners would serve on which boards and commissions. Among other appointments, Bill McKinley was nominated as the new ex-officio member of the Washington County Planning Commission.
Finally, the commissioners voted unanimously to retain County Administrator Gregory B. Murray, County Clerk Vicki Lumm, and Budget and Finance Director Debra S. Murray in their current positions. Lumm was sworn in following the meeting.

The new board of Washington County Commissioners agreed Tuesday to serve on the following boards and commissions:

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Terry Baker:

  • Community Action Council
  • Economic Development Commission
  • Fire & Rescue Communications Advisory Board
  • Metropolitan Planning Organization
  • Recreation and Parks Advisory Board
  • Social Services Board
  • Tri-County Council for Western Maryland
  • United Way – Emergency Food & Shelter Program (Federal Emergency Management Administration)
  • Weed Control Committee

 
John F. Barr:

  • Area Agency on Aging
  • Emergency Services Advisory Council
  • Local Management Board
  • Maryland Association of Counties Legislative Committee
  • Mental Health Authority
  • Washington County Museum of Fine Arts
  • Pension Fund Board
  • Transportation Advisory Committee
  • Tri-County Council for Western Maryland

 
Jeff Cline:

  • Advisory Commission to the Board of Health
  • Agricultural Education Center
  • Disabilities Advisory Committee
  • Historic District Commission
  • MACo Legislative Committee
  • Solid Waste Advisory Commission

 
Ruth Anne Callaham:

  • Commission on Aging
  • Historical Advisory Committee
  • Housing Authority of Washington County
  • Metropolitan Planning Organization
  • PenMar Development Corp.
  • Public Golf Corp.
  • Commission for Women

 
Bill McKinley:

  • Agricultural Land Preservation Advisory Commission
  • Economic Development Commission
  • Hagerstown Regional Airport Advisory Commission
  • MACo
  • Metropolitan Planning Organization
  • Planning Commission
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