Washington County Commission briefs

July 13, 2011

Emergency center gets board oversight

The Washington County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to create a governing board for the county's Emergency Communications Center.

The governing board will be composed of the leaders of the Hagerstown Police Department, Maryland State Police Hagerstown barrack, Washington County Sheriff's Office, Hagerstown Fire Department, Washington County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association and the Washington County director of emergency services.

It will meet quarterly and make recommendations for efficient operation of the center, review proposed budgets and help select and evaluate the center's director, under the agreement approved by the commissioners.

The agreement formalizes what had already been occurring informally, Sheriff Douglas W. Mullendore said.

Bardonna Woods, director of emergency communications, will remain in charge of daily operations at the center, he said.

Direct Air flight fruitful for officials

Three Washington County commissioners who flew to Lakeland, Fla. on the inaugural Direct Air flight June 23 reported Tuesday that, despite delays on the flight down, the visit was a positive one.

They networked with commissioners, mayors and tourism officials from Polk County, Fla., learning strategies the central Florida county had used to boot tourism, Commissioner Ruth Anne Callaham said.

"They are a destination, and they told us a lot about how to become a place people will come, spend money, and that, in turn, creates jobs," Callaham said. "I think it was time well spent."

Commissioner John F. Barr said the flight to Florida "had its share of difficulties," including weather, and arrived late. But Barr said he sat next to Ed Warneck, one of the owners of Direct Air, and learned more about the company and its goals.


 — Heather Keels

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