Monday, December 17, 2012

Leadership Washington County: Local Government Day

On Friday, Dec. 14th I attended Leadership Washington County's local government day. 

Thesis of the day: How does the city and county make decisions to disperse funds to operations and infrastructure that fulfill the strategic plans of our local government?

The first half of our day was spent at City Hall listening to a series of presentations given by City Administrator: Bruce Zimmerman; Mayor David Gysberts; Dave Hanlin, Development Coordinator for Washington County Free Library; and Evvie Williams with the Washington County League of Women Voters.

Some questions that sparked my interest after hearing them speak were:
  1. How are the city and county governments utilizing social media to engage the citizens into having hearty discussions and sharing of ideas in an online environment?
  2. Where does creativity come into play in the government arena? (I'm thinking about problem solving, etc)
  3. Why do we need to bring jobs to the citizens? Why can't we teach citizens how to become successful entrepreneurs through the use of their own creativity, skills, and freely accessible technology (hello, library)?
  4. Why can't Hagerstown try creating and utilizing a complimentary currency program to help revitalize downtown? Bernard Lietaer has done some wonderful things with complimentary currencies and down-trodden economies. Why not here?
The second half of the day started at the Washington County Government building hearing all about how to county government is structured, how financial decisions are made, etc. Then we heard from Commissioner Ruth Anne Callaham who talked about her role as commissioner and the role of the commissioners as a whole in the county. 

Then we got to tour the still-under-construction Potomac Street library which is partially funded by the state, city, and county.

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