Charter board proposes an appointed executive Members also prefer 5 council members

July 29, 1992|By Amy L. Miller | Amy L. Miller,Staff Writer

WESTMINSTER -- Reaffirming their current draft, members of the Carroll County Charter Board voted last night to propose an appointed executive rather than an elected one and to keep five council members, each elected from a district, rather than seven.

The vote for the appointed executive was 6-3, while the council district vote was 7-1, with one abstention.

Members who voted for an appointed manager based the decision on economics.

"I wonder if the general public is fully cognizant that with an elected executive, you still have to have an appointed executive," said member Neal Powell. "Then you have two top salaries to pay and duplicate staff."

As for maintaining the current council district proposal, members agreed that any decision would meet with disapproval from someone.

"God himself couldn't lay out the lines and have everyone agree," said member Charles W. Fisher Sr.

However, the current proposal does use existing voting precincts and is less disruptive to community boundaries. And residents have considered a five-person county government before.

"In the last election, there was a suggestion that we go to five county commissioners," said member Richard Yates. "That is still in the public mind-set."

The board rejected a suggestion from member Lanny Harchenhorn that the council be elected from the county at large.

"I think one of the attractive things about charter government is ,, the districts," Mr. Fisher said. "Too many people feel they are not adequately represented by their government."

The board is drafting a document that could dictate a new form of government for Carroll County if voters approve the constitution. Members hope to put the question on the Nov. 3 ballot.

Unlike the current commissioner form, which has ruled the county since 1837, under a charter the local government could pass laws rather than sending them to the state legislature for approval.

The system also provides for a council and executive, rather than three commissioners.

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