County Comment: Charter home rule, elevators and eGeorge

County Comment
Charter home rule, elevators and eGeorge
by Norman Bassett
Washington County Public Information Officer

The Washington County Board of County Commissioners are meeting in alternate locations this summer due to maintenance on the County Administration Building elevator.
Unanticipated mechanical problems have caused the elevator project to take longer than predicted, and the meeting on August 29 will once again be held at the Department of Water Quality building on Showalter Road, beginning at 8:30am.
Citizens wanting a greater voice in local government have that opportunity through September 19, by requesting consideration as a member of then Charter Home Rule Board.
On August 8, the Washington County Board of County Commissioners decided to propose charter home rule for Washington County. This form of home rule requires the development of a County Charter Document.
A Charter Board will be appointed to draft the proposed Charter that will be put to the voters in the November 2008 general election. The Commissioners are accepting applications from individuals interested in serving on the charter board, and will consider appointments in their meeting on September 19th, with final approval taking place on or before October 19.
An application form has been posted on the County website, www.washco-md.net as part of the link "Home Rule Task Force and Charter Board". Applicants should scroll down to "Volunteer" and click on that link, then follow instructions on the website to fill out the form and return. Applicants are asked to write in "Charter Board" in the "Other areas of interest" text box.
Persons who do not have access to the Internet may contact Joni Bittner at 240-313-2204, to have an application mailed.
Washington County's Public Information Office and Information Technologies Department are working together to make the latest county news available to the public in a variety of ways.
In addition to columns such as this one, Public Information issues news releases to newspapers, radio and television stations on a weekly basis. Weekly summaries of Commissioners' meetings, as well as the news releases, are published on-line.
One year ago, "Commissioners' Comment", a 15-minute radio program began airing on WJEJ 1240 AM in Hagerstown. The program began airing on WICL 95.9 FM, Williamsport-Martinsburg, shortly thereafter.
Now, through expertise in our IT department, Washington County has taken the leap into internet blogs and podcasts, on Blogspot.com. A link to the blog "eGeorge", which features news and information including interview material from the radio programs, is located on the County website at www.washco-md.net, and at http://egeorge.blogspot.com.
Citizens can subscribe to the podcasts and listen via computer, or download for playback on ipods. Summaries and news releases are available by subscription as well, by clicking on the e-George online services link on the website.