A May 26 Carroll County Times article announced that Phil Hager, Carroll County’s Director of Land Use, Planning and Development, will become the County’s new legislative liaison starting June 4. Hager’s current land use duties will be split between himself and Deputy Director Tom Devilbiss. As previously reported on Conduit Street, the Carroll County Board of Commissioners recently restructured the county’s planning department, partly in order to improve departmental efficiencies and partly in order to allow Hager to devote time to his new legislative duties. From the Times article:
“As far as an opportunity to move forward, I have a great deal of excitement,” Hager said. “I’ve always had an interest in this area.”
Hager has previous experience working with the legislature during his time as a Carroll County government employee, and spent some time on Capitol Hill when he was younger, he said.
“It’s a good fit for me; it’s certainly attractive at addressing my personal interests,” Hager said.
The article noted support for Hager’s new role from both county commissioners and state legislators:
“He knows what [the commissioners] want, and knows how to read the legislation and what it will mean for us,” [Commissioner Dennis] Frazier said. “Not everyone can look at [a bill] and see how it will affect Carroll. It’s a special skill set. We need someone down there fighting for us.” …
Del. Susan Krebs, R-District 5, who worked with [prior county legislative liaison Frank] Johnson, said a liaison provides an invaluable service to Carroll legislators and the county.
“This is a great group of commissioners and I’m looking forward to working with them with the assistance of a liaison,” she said. …
Del. Haven Shoemaker, R-District 5, who also served as county commissioner from 2010-2014, said Carroll was one of the few jurisdictions in the state that did not have a liaison acting on its behalf in the General Assembly.
“It gets hectic down there and a lot of times it would be good to know up-close and personal of any impact legislation would have on the folks back home and on county government,” Shoemaker said.