Charles County Debates Benefits of Moving to Charter Form of Government

The Charles County Chamber of Commerce held an event this week to debate the benefits of moving from a commission to charter form of government.  Charles County residents will vote on this issue during the upcoming November 4 election.

As reported by The Charles County Independent,

Former Charles County State’s Attorney Leonard C. Collins Jr. argued that the proposed charter document, which would replace the county commissioners with a county executive and county council, would give the local government a set of checks and balances it currently lacks and provide citizens a clearer understanding of which officials make which decisions.

On the other side of the issue,

…La Plata attorney Rudolf A. Carrico Jr. said the proposal, which will appear on the Nov. 4 ballot, would increase the cost of government, place too much power in the hands of the county executive and allow particular segments of the county to dominate its politics.

If approved in November,

…the charter would overhaul the county government to include a full-time executive who would handle day-to-day operations and a part-time, five-seat council that would deal with purely legislative matters.

It would also establish a budget process mirroring the state’s — the executive would propose a budget that the council could only make cuts to, the lone exception being if the executive neglects to fully fund county worker pensions.