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County should have stepped up

By Staff | Jun 27, 2014

The Chronicle shares the disappointment of Shepherdstown officials who were in attendance at Thursday’s County Commission meeting where Jefferson commissioners failed to step up to assist with the proposed bike path extending to Morgan’s Grove Park.

To have commissioners who voted against setting aside some funds in a capital account just in case they were needed (with no guarantee the funds would be spent) say how they couldn’t allocate funds because of having to lay off two employees at the end of this fiscal year was sad, to say the least. If the commissioners truly felt guilt over that action, they would not have voted to hire a new position in their own office under their self-imposed “hiring freeze.”

The allocation of capital funds into a separate line item for a specific project is something the commission has done in the past. The commitment of funds to purchase the old Cement Mill project in Shepherdstown is a prime example. Those funds sat allocated to that project for at least two years before it was determined they were not needed. At that time, the commissioners reallocated the funds elsewhere.

The same could have been done in this case. The group had initially committed to a contribution of $75,000 an amount that was reduced only through the generosity of the State. Shepherdstown officials asked for no more than that initial commitment and perhaps not even that. Shame on the commission for not stepping up and helping with a project that lies totally within their borders. None of the bike path lies in the Shepherdstown town limits, yet the town is willing to take on the responsibility for the good of the project.

The commissioners need to take a lesson in working for their constituents and committing to improvements, events and projects that are important to them.