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Mayor retains appointment powers despite raised concerns

Stephanie Long
Emmitsburg Dispatch

(7/17) The Emmitsburg mayor will retain his powers to make commission appointments, following a discussion on the issue at the June 7 meeting.

Town Council President Christopher Staiger informed the board that he was displeased with the current appointment power lying solely in the hands of the mayor and wanted to discuss giving the commissioners the same power.

“The power has been in the mayor’s hand and he’s gotten people to fill the committees,” Staiger said. “But it seems to me though that it might be appropriate for commissioners to also have the ability to make a nomination.”

Staiger explained that the commissioners are the ones attending the committee meetings and therefore, in his opinion, might be better apt to know who should be nominated to the committees, which he said the mayor has not always listened to.

“Honestly, we’ve seen the mayors authority has sometimes been a roadblock,” Staiger said.

But Mayor James Hoover disagreed and said “in the six years as mayor there’s only been two individuals that have not been appointed that were suggested. Ninety-five percent of the time they’re [nominees] approved.”

Staiger did caution against allowing just any commissioner to make nominations to any committee, and said he appreciated the separation of powers but “on a practical standpoint this seems like a good idea.”

But not everyone agreed with Staiger.

“Personally I like it the way it is,” said Commissioner Joyce Rosensteel. “It’s the mayor’s choice and he brings it to us and we vote it in or not and we can make recommendations to the mayor.”

Commissioners Cliff Sweeney and Denise Etris agreed and said that they we’re OK with keeping the appointment powers the way they were, despite Staiger’s insistance to change the procedure.

“I ask the people to keep in mind that things are never so good as when they’re good,” Staiger said. “I know of cases when qualified people aren’t brought forward because of perceived notions. I personally think it would be a good move.”

Without the support of the board, Staiger said there was no point for further discussion on the issue and let it die.

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