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By CHRISTOPHER B. SHANK | February 8, 2008
To the editor: I wrote earlier that the charter backers have failed to make a compelling argument for adopting charter home rule government. I would now like to offer some specific reasons why home rule in general, and this charter in particular, could increase the costs of government and reduce personal liberties for the citizens of Washington County. Without some checks built into the process, all governments inevitably expand. It is just that simple. Government expands to the detriment of personal freedom and costs more of your money to operate.
NEWS
February 8, 2002
County home rule to be object of study group By SCOTT BUTKI scottb@herald-mail.com A study group is being assembled to gauge public interest in switching to "home rule" government in Washington County, said Linda Irvin-Craig, who is on the Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce's government affairs committee. The Chamber, the League of Women Voters of Washington County and the Greater Hagerstown Committee are working on the project jointly, she said.
NEWS
By JOSHUA BOWMAN | January 11, 2008
HALFWAY - About 40 people gathered Thursday night at Halfway Fire Hall for a public forum on charter home rule hosted by Citizens for Protection of Washington County. The audience heard Jeanne Singer and Tom Berry, both former members of the Washington County Charter Board, debate the merits of home rule. Afterward, audience members asked questions about the charter, which would change the county's governing body from a board of county commissioners to a county council. Questions ranged from specifics about the 15-page charter document to more general queries about how charter government would affect local residents.
NEWS
by TARA REILLY | August 22, 2002
tarar@herald-mail.com If Washington County's form of government changed to home rule, the County Commissioners would have more power to pass local laws, which would lessen the county's dependency on the Maryland General Assembly, Allegany County officials said Wednesday night. Allegany County Administrator Vance C. Ishler and County Attorney William M. Rudd spoke at Clear Spring High School to the task force formed to explore the wisdom of a switch to home rule government in Washington County.
NEWS
by SCOTT BUTKI | June 20, 2002
scottb@herald-mail.com A task force exploring the wisdom of a switch to "home rule" government in Washington County heard from three county government officials Wednesday night. Washington County Administrator Rodney Shoop and Assistant County Attorney John Martirano made speeches at the second meeting of the study of local government task force. The task force was created by the Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce, the League of Women Voters of Washington County and the Greater Hagerstown Committee.
NEWS
By JOSHUA BOWMAN | February 13, 2008
WASHINGTON COUNTY -- Charter advocate Jeanne Singer said Wednesday she was surprised by the sound rejection of charter home rule in Tuesday's primary election. The former charter board president who spent the past several months campaigning for the proposed charter said she expected a tight vote margin on the ballot question. "Whether it passed or failed, I thought it would be much closer," Singer said. Washington County voters on Tuesday rejected charter home rule by a 2-to-1 margin.
NEWS
May 30, 2002
"My little kitty loves sour milk. I discovered this by accident. I let her drink it, but not on a regular basis, but if I have it in the fridge, I give it to her. Does anyone know if this would hurt my little kitty?" "About the two women in the old black car. 'She asked if I was home alone, what insurance you have, the name of it and my Social Security number, can I come inside and ask you those questions?' I said no way! You are after some kind of scam. " "In response to the city charging for the BluesFest in the public square.
NEWS
By CHRISTOPHER B. SHANK | January 25, 2008
On the primary election ballot this February, the voters of Washington County will have an important choice to make about the future of how we as citizens interact with our county government. The passage of charter home rule consolidates tremendous power in the hands of a new county council that will have unchecked authority to intrude into our lives, grow government and raise taxes. Advocates of home rule haven't made the case for change. Some have suggested that Washington County's elected officials are not currently in charge of the county's destiny.
NEWS
By JOSHUA BOWMAN | February 6, 2008
WASHINGTON COUNTY -- Washington County Commissioners President John F. Barr delivered the 2008 State of the County address Tuesday morning at the Four Points Sheraton on Dual Highway. Barr highlighted the county's accomplishments in 2007 and touched on several initiatives the county will pursue in the future. One proposal, a change to the hotel/motel tax, will create a long-awaited revenue sharing program between the county and its municipalities, county officials said. "This is something the city and other municipalities have talked about for a while, so we wanted to start the year by creating something like this," County Administrator Gregory B. Murray said.
NEWS
By ERIN CUNNINGHAM | February 11, 2009
ANNAPOLIS -- The salary for the Washington County sheriff could be raised to $88,000 from $80,000 in 2010 under a bill being considered by the Maryland General Assembly. The bill would allow the County Commissioners, rather than state lawmakers, to decide future raises. Washington County's delegation to the General Assembly voted 6-2 Wednesday in favor of introducing the bill. Sen. Donald F. Munson, R-Washington, and Sen. Alex X. Mooney, R-Frederick/Washington, were opposed.
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NEWS
By C.J. LOVELACE | cj.lovelace@herald-mail.com | July 16, 2013
If there is public support for altering Washington County's governmental structure, residents - or possibly those seeking election in 2014 - will need to show it in the form of a petition in the coming months. The Washington County Board of Commissioners took no action Tuesday morning on a request by state Del. LeRoy E. Myers Jr. that the five commissioners appoint a board to draft the framework for charter home-rule government. “Taking no action gives the people the opportunity to take the action and get the signatures, and then bring that to the commissioners (to)
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NEWS
By KAUSTUV BASU | kaustuv.basu@herald-mail.com | July 13, 2013
In late June, Del. LeRoy Myers sent a letter to the president of the Washington County Board of Commissioners requesting that the body appoint a board to draft a proposed framework for charter home-rule government. “I ask to move in a reasonable but expeditious manner to appoint this board to get this on the ballot in November of 2014,” Myers  said in another letter dated June 25 to County Administrator Gregory Murray. Myers, R-Washington/Allegany, sent the letters the week after he held a breakfast meeting in Hagerstown to promote the idea.
NEWS
By ERIN CUNNINGHAM | February 11, 2009
ANNAPOLIS -- The salary for the Washington County sheriff could be raised to $88,000 from $80,000 in 2010 under a bill being considered by the Maryland General Assembly. The bill would allow the County Commissioners, rather than state lawmakers, to decide future raises. Washington County's delegation to the General Assembly voted 6-2 Wednesday in favor of introducing the bill. Sen. Donald F. Munson, R-Washington, and Sen. Alex X. Mooney, R-Frederick/Washington, were opposed.
NEWS
By JOSHUA BOWMAN | February 13, 2008
WASHINGTON COUNTY -- Charter advocate Jeanne Singer said Wednesday she was surprised by the sound rejection of charter home rule in Tuesday's primary election. The former charter board president who spent the past several months campaigning for the proposed charter said she expected a tight vote margin on the ballot question. "Whether it passed or failed, I thought it would be much closer," Singer said. Washington County voters on Tuesday rejected charter home rule by a 2-to-1 margin.
NEWS
February 10, 2008
Home rule has chance to benefit seniors To the editor: A current hot local topic is the proposed conversion of county government to home rule, via the proposed charter. Should seniors care? Is there anything about charter government that would benefit seniors? What's wrong with the form of government we currently have in Washington County? Washington County seniors are being taxed out of their abilities to pay. Many possible initiatives could work toward enabling us to "age in place.
NEWS
February 9, 2008
Thumbs down to inmate Brandon Morris, for filing an appeal of his murder conviction in the case of Officer Jeffery Wroten before the first batch of tears of the victim's family were dry. The judge in your first case spared you the death penalty so Wroten's family wouldn't have to go through an endless round of appeals. But with your heartless decision to seek one anyway, you've managed to make a merciful jurist look like a chump. Here's hoping you lose - again. Thumbs up to all of the campaign volunteers, donors and representatives of the United Way of Washington County who made it possible for the 2007 campaign to hit its $1.9 million goal.
NEWS
By CHRISTOPHER B. SHANK | February 8, 2008
To the editor: I wrote earlier that the charter backers have failed to make a compelling argument for adopting charter home rule government. I would now like to offer some specific reasons why home rule in general, and this charter in particular, could increase the costs of government and reduce personal liberties for the citizens of Washington County. Without some checks built into the process, all governments inevitably expand. It is just that simple. Government expands to the detriment of personal freedom and costs more of your money to operate.
NEWS
By JOSHUA BOWMAN | February 6, 2008
WASHINGTON COUNTY -- Washington County Commissioners President John F. Barr delivered the 2008 State of the County address Tuesday morning at the Four Points Sheraton on Dual Highway. Barr highlighted the county's accomplishments in 2007 and touched on several initiatives the county will pursue in the future. One proposal, a change to the hotel/motel tax, will create a long-awaited revenue sharing program between the county and its municipalities, county officials said. "This is something the city and other municipalities have talked about for a while, so we wanted to start the year by creating something like this," County Administrator Gregory B. Murray said.
NEWS
JOSHUA BOWMAN | January 27, 2008
WASHINGTON COUNTY - In addition to voting for presidential and congressional candidates, Washington County voters will answer a question on this year's primary election ballot. The referendum question asks voters: "Are you in favor of adopting the Home Rule Charter as proposed by the Charter Board for Washington County?" But while it sounds simple, the meaning of that question - and the implications of such a change - are unclear to many people. What is charter home rule?
NEWS
By JOSHUA BOWMAN | January 26, 2008
More charter home rule stories WASHINGTON COUNTY -- In addition to voting for presidential and congressional candidates, Washington County voters will answer a question on this year's primary election ballot. The referendum question asks voters: "Are you in favor of adopting the Home Rule Charter as proposed by the Charter Board for Washington County?" But while it sounds simple, the meaning of that question -- and the implications of such a change -- are unclear to many people.
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