Cumberland Times-News

February 20, 2014

Legislators withdraw bill to benefit cemetery organization

From Staff Reports
Cumberland Times-News

— CUMBERLAND — The Allegany County legislative delegation Thursday morning voted to withdraw two bills filed that would have permitted county commissioners to increase marriage license fees and direct the proceeds to the Cumberland Historic Cemetery Organization. The bills were being considered in the House and Senate of the General Assembly.

The delegation said the matter should have been presented as proposed legislation by Allegany County commissioners only after a public hearing and a vote by all three commissioners. Commission president Michael McKay wrote to Edwards on Feb. 1 asking him to introduce the legislation. The letter was on official county commission letterhead and underneath his signature line are the words “President, Allegany County Board of Commissioners.” The text of the letter does not include any statement that McKay was acting on behalf of the full commission.

The bills would have allowed Allegany County commissioners to increase the county portion of the fee by $13, which would be distributed to the cemetery organization. The total marriage license fee is currently $35, with $10 set by the state — the county has set the local fee at $25.

The organization describes itself as “dedicated to preserving our area’s rich historic heritage by erecting and restoring monuments, and also by providing tours and promoting cemetery history to the general public,” according to its website.