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Home Rule

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NEWS
by DON AINES | June 18, 2003
chambersburg@herald-mail.com CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - The Chambersburg Borough Council Tuesday night heard a presentation about what it would take to change to a home-rule form of government. "I think all communities need to pause from time to time and consider the direction in which they are heading," said Fred Reddig, the deputy director of the Governor's Center for Local Government Services and the former borough manager of Shippensburg, Pa. Reddig outlined what the borough would need to do to change to a home-rule form of government, something 71 municipalities have done since the state constitution was amended to allow such changes in 1972.
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.
OPINION
June 22, 2013
The form of local government known as charter home rule is one that is habitually thumped at the polls every so often, so why might we expect this latest initiative to be any different? Mainly because some leaders who have opposed it in the past now seem more open to the idea. Home rule allows counties to have a greater say over local law without having to first seek approval in Annapolis from the entire Maryland General Assembly. This legal housekeeping is often somewhat trivial in nature, but takes up copious amounts of our lawmakers' time, when they could be working on issues of greater import.
OPINION
By TIM ROWLAND | June 23, 2013
When the 6th Congressional District was redrawn prior to last fall's election, the grand design (which it accomplished) was to put another Maryland Democrat in the House of Representatives. But an unintended (and unlamented, from a Democratic perspective) side effect was that it slammed the door in the face of any Western Maryland conservative with ideas of obtaining higher office. State senator, a position that is relatively poorly paid and lacking in statewide prestige, is now as high as a local, conservative political climber can go. The state as a whole has swung so far to the left that the idea of a conservative governor or attorney general or comptroller is a nonstarter, especially for a rural candidate.
NEWS
by TARA REILLY | March 8, 2006
WASHINGTON COUNTY A task force recommended Tuesday that Washington County's government change to charter home rule, a system that would give the County Commissioners more authority to create local laws. Joseph Kroboth III, chairman of the Task Force on Home Rule, said the nine-member group voted 5-4 in favor of charter home rule. Four members supported a change to code home rule, which also would give the commissioners more power than they have under the current commission form of government.
NEWS
September 2, 2007
A board has suggested that Washington County switch from a commissioner form of government to a charter home rule form. Some highlights of the draft charter: · A county council would have five members at first, then seven members starting in 2010. Five would run in districts and two would run at large. · The first council would be the five sitting county commissioners. · Council members would serve four-year terms. · The council "may enact public local laws for the peace, good government, health, safety or welfare of the County.
NEWS
March 30, 1997
By GUY FLETCHER Staff Writer ANNAPOLIS - The relationship between the Washington County Commissioners and the county's delegation in the Maryland General Assembly has had several difficult moments in the past few years. In 1995 Sen. Donald F. Munson, R-Washington, amended a bill that required the commissioners to spend $250,000 on the Fairplay Volunteer Fire Department. Last year the delegation amended a tip jar gambling bill so the commissioners could not cut their spending to nonprofit organizations.
NEWS
October 17, 2000
Underwood supports home rule By DAVE McMILLION / Staff Writer, Charles Town MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - If reelected, Gov. Cecil Underwood said during a question and answer session here Tuesday night that he would support home rule legislation to help areas like the Eastern Panhandle deal with growth. But Underwood cautioned that if local officials "get out of line" with taxes, they will likely pay the price at election time. County officials, especially those in Jefferson County, have been stressing the need for more home rule to deal with population growth.
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)
NEWS
by TARA REILLY | September 17, 2003
tarar@herald-mail.com The Washington County Commissioners on Tuesday unanimously shot down a proposal to change the county's form of government from commission to a type of home rule. The proposal was made by a task force created by the Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce, the League of Women Voters of Washington County and the Greater Hagerstown Committee. The task force held meetings last year. Members of the task force told the commissioners last month that switching to code home rule would bring local government closer to the people and lessen the commissioners' dependence on the Maryland General Assembly.
ARTICLES BY DATE
OPINION
By LLOYD WATERS | August 25, 2013
Last year's Dargan Days was a huge success, so we thought it a good idea to do the same thing this year. Sunday, Sept. 29, at 1 p.m. has been designated as the date and time for our end-of-summer gathering. All of you Dargan residents, then and now, be sure to bring a covered dish and some stories to share. Anyone else who sneaks in better have a covered dish and a good story as well. There will be no “shine” for purchase. Passports will be examined.  The Dargan gatekeeper won't be there in body this year, but we know she'll be watching from higher ground.
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NEWS
BY KAUSTUV BASU | kaustuv.basu@herald-mail.com | August 16, 2013
Del. LeRoy E. Myers Jr.'s push for charter home-rule government stalled last month when the Washington County Board of Commissioners took no action on his request to appoint a board to draft a charter that would then be voted on by county residents next year. Myers, a Republican who represents part of Washington and Allegany counties, said he has no interest in organizing a petition drive to collect signatures from voters to put the issue on the ballot. Instead, Myers said earlier this month that he intends to keep the issue alive by endorsing candidates for county commissioner seats in the 2014 elections who would back a move to charter home rule.
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)
OPINION
By TIM ROWLAND | June 23, 2013
When the 6th Congressional District was redrawn prior to last fall's election, the grand design (which it accomplished) was to put another Maryland Democrat in the House of Representatives. But an unintended (and unlamented, from a Democratic perspective) side effect was that it slammed the door in the face of any Western Maryland conservative with ideas of obtaining higher office. State senator, a position that is relatively poorly paid and lacking in statewide prestige, is now as high as a local, conservative political climber can go. The state as a whole has swung so far to the left that the idea of a conservative governor or attorney general or comptroller is a nonstarter, especially for a rural candidate.
OPINION
June 22, 2013
The form of local government known as charter home rule is one that is habitually thumped at the polls every so often, so why might we expect this latest initiative to be any different? Mainly because some leaders who have opposed it in the past now seem more open to the idea. Home rule allows counties to have a greater say over local law without having to first seek approval in Annapolis from the entire Maryland General Assembly. This legal housekeeping is often somewhat trivial in nature, but takes up copious amounts of our lawmakers' time, when they could be working on issues of greater import.
NEWS
By KAUSTUV BASU | kaustuv.basu@herald-mail.com | June 19, 2013
Del. LeRoy Myers said that having a charter home-rule form of government would enable Washington County to take care of business day to day instead of relying on a 90-day annual session of the Maryland General Assembly. Myers, R-Washington/Allegany, kicked off a discussion on the subject with a breakfast meeting Wednesday attended by the Washington County Board of Commissioners, members of the county legislative delegation, experts and interested residents. The county's current commissioner form of government requires it to depend on the Maryland General Assembly for certain types of legislation that under charter home rule could be handled at the local level.
OPINION
June 3, 2013
Washington County needs an executive To the editor: The government of the United States has an executive who we call president; the State of Maryland has an executive who we call governor; the City of Hagerstown has an executive who we call mayor; but Washington County has no executive. Why? There was a reason that the Constitution of the United States created three branches of government. The founders of our nation recognized the need to have a legislature that would debate and pass laws as well as a court system to interpret those laws fairly and to make sure that the laws that were passed were congruent with the Constitution.
NEWS
April 30, 2013
Martinsburg City Council, which met Monday as a committee of the whole, recommended that City Manager Mark Baldwin be authorized to begin the process to apply to become a “home rule” city in West Virginia. Mayor George Karos and city council members received an explanation from City Attorney Floyd M. “Kin” Sayre III about the State Legislature's recent expansion of the home rule pilot program, which now will allow 16 more cities to apply to join four others already participating in the initiative.
NEWS
April 21, 2010
BUNKER HILL, W.Va. -- A Sunday morning fire that destroyed a rancher in the Bunker Hill Heights subdivision has been ruled accidental, Patrick Barker, assistant state fire marshal, said Wednesday. The cause of the fire at 311 Quarter Drive remained undetermined, but most likely was electrical, Barker said. The family did not have insurance for the home, he said. No one was hurt in the fire, which was reported at 3:24 a.m. Sunday, fire officials have said. -- Julie E. Greene
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