Washington County Commissioners Adopt Updated Rules For Economic Development Commission

During their meeting this week, Washington County Commissioners approved new rules to govern the Washington County Economic Development Commission (EDC). These rules make changes to the body’s appointment process and clarifies the hiring process for the director of the Department of Business Development.

As reported by the Hagerstown Herald-Mail,

“This does not change the function of the Economic Development Commission,” County Administrator Gregory B. Murray told the Washington County Board of Commissioners during the board’s weekly meeting at the County Administration Building in Hagerstown.

According to the changes, the county will recommend five — reduced from seven — of the EDC board members, one each from the Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce, Greater Hagerstown Committee, Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau, City of Hagerstown and the other municipalities in the county.

The remaining appointees were increased from five to seven, all to be appointed at the commissioners’ sole discretion, according to the updated ordinance.

The cause of the shift, as explained by Murray, was due to the EDC’s push to select members using a “skills matrix” rather than requiring an individual to be involved with a specific organization.

The EDC also requested the clarification on the hiring of the Department of Business Development director, a position they do not supervise, hire or fire.

According to the revised ordinance, the EDC no longer will submit a recommendation for an individual to be hired as economic development director, which has been changed slightly to the director of the county’s recently rebranded Department of Business Development.

Assistant County Administrator Sarah L. Sprecher, who has been serving as the interim head of business development, said in an email that the EDC ordinance “is essentially the same as it was,” aside from the recommendation of an economic development director.