Commissioner Dell planning 'vision' committee

March 04, 1994|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Sun Staff Writer

Carroll Commissioner Donald I. Dell said yesterday that he needs and wants help making important county decisions, including when and how to raise taxes.

"I could use some help from time to time," he said.

Mr. Dell, who is running for a second term this year, said he wants to form a committee this spring called "A Vision for the Future" to advise the county commissioners.

The committee would bring together county staff members and local business people to discuss important issues and how to pay for projects. It would also rate the importance of projects, such as road improvements, police and fire protection, and schools.

That priority list would determine how tax revenues should be spent, he said.

The commissioners will have to raise county taxes "some day" to help pay for capital improvement projects that have been postponed because of the recession, Mr. Dell said.

"I see us not coming out of it [the recession] very soon," he said.

He said he does not foresee a tax increase in the next fiscal year, which begins July 1.

If the committee recommends a tax increase, it might be easier for the public to accept, he said.

"It's not an effort to duck out of commissioner responsibilities," said Mr. Dell, who is president of the board of commissioners.

Carroll officials have held three Town/County Conferences in the past three years that brought together elected officials and business people to discuss issues, such as economic development, infrastructure and residential growth.

Mr. Dell said he has discussed his idea with Commissioners Julia W. Gouge and Elmer C. Lippy and county department heads. * *TC meeting in which he had planned to discuss the idea with Carroll mayors was postponed because of the weather, he said.

Mr. Lippy said yesterday, "I think the plan has merit."

Helen Utz, executive director of the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce, said that Mr. Dell mentioned the idea to her and that chamber members would be willing to work on the project.

"I would think the more opinions you get, the better off you are on anything. I particularly like the idea of including business people in the decision-making process," she said.

Mr. Dell said he wants to begin organizing the committee late this month after the commissioners have finished most of their work on the fiscal 1995 budget.

Mr. Dell said he had not considered including citizen groups -- such as the Carroll County Taxpayers Association -- in the discussions.

He said he would not appoint members to the committee but would gather interested people to brainstorm.

"We should pull together and have some direction by fall," he said.

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