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Commissioners eye ’12 road trips

January 4, 2012
By Ashley Rittenhouse - The Marietta Times ( , The Marietta Times

Although only 37 people attended the four meetings the Washington County commissioners held outside their Marietta office last year, they said they will probably continue to meet throughout the county again this year.

The commissioners said they'll discuss the matter during their organizational meeting at 9 a.m. Monday.

During their organizational meeting last January, they voted to hold one of their regular weekly minutes meetings in Belpre in March, with the possibility of holding additional meetings outside their office later in the year.

They ultimately ended up meeting in Belpre in March, in New Matamoras in April, in Lower Salem in July and in Cutler in October.

The Belpre and New Matamoras meetings were each attended by 10 people, the Lower Salem meeting was attended by 11 people and the Cutler meeting was attended by six people, according to the commissioners' clerk, Rick Peoples.

"We're not looking so much for quantity - it's more of the quality of the meeting," said Commissioner Cora Marshall. "We did not have one meeting where we didn't have open dialogue, so it's something the board will be interested in doing this coming year."

The commissioners usually hold their minutes meetings at 9 a.m. Thursdays in their assembly room at 223 Putnam St., Marietta. They decided to hold some meetings out in the county during the evening hours so residents in those areas could more easily attend.

Commissioner Steve Weber said he would like to continue the practice but he's hopeful the turnout will be better.

"I'd like to see more people come out and take a real interest in it," he said. "Maybe this year there will be more interest with the elections coming up, especially since me and Cora are both running again."

The terms of Marshall, a Democrat, and Weber, a Republican, both conclude at the end of this year and they have filed to run again in the March primary election.

Commissioner Tim Irvine said he, too, thought it was worthwhile to hold the meetings out in the county and he hopes more of them will be held this year.

"Some of the people that came to the meetings had some good questions and I think it's a positive thing to be out in the public like that," he said.

Macksburg, Barlow, Beverly and Newport are among the places where the commissioners might meet this year.



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