won’t pass a budget for about six months,
but the word is out that the town will
probably need more money from residents
during the next fiscal year.
Mayor Martin Burns issued that warning
at the end of Tuesday night’s meeting, bracing residents for
possible increases in all the ways the town collects money.
Thurmont, Mr. Burns said, has kept tax
and service rates and other fees low by sometimes borrowing
from funds supposedly dedicated to specific uses and putting
off needed equipment repairs and purchases. That policy will
"This is a change in the philosophy
with the way we’ve been doing things," the mayor said.
He said department heads have been
told to prepare budgets for the next two years. They’ve also
been warned they must be willing to fight if the board tries
to turn down necessary items.
Department heads won’t be the only
people with a say in the town’s needs. The board of
commissioners expects input from residents, the mayor said.
Mr. Burns said that once they know how much money is needed to
meet pressing needs, the commissioners will figure out how to
pay for them. Anything from tax rates to citation fees could
"The board has tough decisions to
make," he said.
The mayor also announced that the
board recently chose Board & Borden to represent the town. The
Frederick law firm replaced Clifford Bridgford, who resigned
in September after serving the town for 18 years.
Mr. Burns said all three of the
candidates considered had assets the board liked. Leslie
Powell was viewed as a tough litigator, he said, and
Holtzinger Conner & Holtzinger has engineering and utility law
expertise. Board & Borden’s primary assets were N. Lynn
Board’s municipal law experience and Debra Borden’s
involvement in Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights
matters. The mayor said the City of Frederick’s Board of
Aldermen provided a good reference for Ms. Board, the city’s
former attorney, and the firm also submitted the lowest hourly
"I think because of all those things,
the board agreed they are the best ones for us to use," Mr.
Burns said. The decision, he said, was unanimous.
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