Suggestions Offered For New Charter Government

Night Meetings, Term Limits Sought By Chamber Members

January 22, 1992|By Daniel P. Clemens Jr. | Daniel P. Clemens Jr.,Staff writer

ELDERSBURG — A Carroll County Council that meets at night and is composed of fiveor seven members limited to two consecutive terms is one feature thecounty's leading business groups would like to see in a new charter government.

Those ideas and others were presented by the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce last night to the county Charter Board.

The nine-member board, appointed last November by the county commissioners, has asked a variety of county civic groups for input on drafting a charter for Carroll.

At the Carroll County Public Libraryin Eldersburg last night, Ed Fisher, chairman of the chamber's county relations committee, addressed the board and outlined what elementsthe group would like to see incorporated in the charter.

The chamber, Fisher said, wants a charter that "ensures efficiency within county government" and strives for "cost containment."

Fisher also called for growth-management mechanisms, such as autonomous zoning board and planning departments, much like what exists currently within county government.

Evening council meeting should be scheduled so asto best accommodate citizen participation, Fisher said.

The term limit would guard against "the professional politician," Fisher said,adding the former council members should be allowed to run again after sitting out a term.

"We feel a change in county elected officials is a good way to ensure responsive government," he said.

Fisheralso said an appointed manager, as opposed to an elected county executive, deserves consideration.

"We think that an appointed managerhas a lot of potential," he said. "It could ensure we get the maximum managerial skills available to run the day-to-day operations of county government."

The chamber also suggests that an adequate transition period be allowed in which to make the change from the current commissioner form of government.

A representative of the county chapter of the League of Women's voter also addressed the board last night.

Kay Garnish, past county chapter president who now serves on the state board, said the league has supported home rule since 1967.

"The charter should provide an open government system," she said, adding that "clearly defined rules" should be laid out for any county police force that might be formed.

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