Cumberland Times-News

April 22, 2013

Commissioners toss their hats into ring, again

No other candidates have filed

Matthew Bieniek
Cumberland Times-News

— CUMBERLAND — The three incumbent Allegany County commissioners made a joint announcement that they filed for re-election at last week’s commission business meeting.

It seemed apparent that the three — Commission President Michael McKay and commissioners Bill Valentine and Creade Brodie Jr. — are running as a team. No other candidates had filed by early Monday afternoon, said Diane Loibel, the county’s election director.

“Since this is the first public meeting since the new date to file for county commissioner, it is my pleasure to announce all three commissioners filed today. Commissioner Bro-die led the charge, followed by myself and Commissioner Valentine,” McKay said Thursday. “This board is committed to working hard, full-time, for you,” McKay said.

A recent change in state law moved up the date for filing for office to April 9, with the last day to file for the November 2014 general election on Feb. 25, 2014.

Among their accomplishments, commissioners have cited lowering the county tax rate, reducing the size of county government and improving the county’s bond rating.

The county implemented a plan in 2011 that eliminated 10 county positions and saved about $475,000.

The 10 positions, added to 32 positions cut last year through attrition and an early retirement option, would mean 42 positions trimmed in two years.

That’s about 18 percent of the work force in two years, county officials said.

One rough spot during their tenure has been a contentious relationship with the board of education.

The three incumbent commissioners were swept into office in November of 2010 on an apparent wave of discontent that included concerns about the way previous commissioners handled a conflict with then-Sheriff David Goad.

The commissioners in office at the time split up the functions of the sheriff’s office and created a bureau of police.

McKay owns a dry-cleaning business, Valentine owns a plumbing business and Brodie works for the LaVale Sanitary Commission.

In other business, commissioners approved an agreement to stabilize a landslide-prone area along Douglas Avenue, west of Lonaconing. An uphill slope is unstable in the area because of past mining activities.

The county agreed to work with the state to repair the slope.

The state Abandoned Mine Land Division will provide funding for the project and reimburse Allegany County staff, who will do inspection and construction management for the project.

The funding for the complete project is $400,000.

The county’s reimbursement is estimated to be $25,000.

Contact Matthew Bieniek at mbieniek@times-news.com.