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Garrett County school board member resigns

Elaine Blaisdell Cumberland Times-News

OAKLAND — Garrett County commissioners are reviewing a list of potential candidates following the resignation of Board of Education vice president Rodney Durst. The reason behind the resignation was unclear Tuesday night.

“Rodney Durst has submitted his resignation effective now,” Monty Pagenhardt, county administrator, said during a Tuesday meeting of the Board of Commissioners. “Commissioners are taking the names of people who submitted interest back when Jim (Raley) resigned.” Raley resigned his seat as a member-at-large in 2010.

Durst’s seat will be filled by a resident from District 3. Pagenhardt and Carol Riley-Alexander, executive assistant to the commissioners, will contact potential candidates today to see if they are still interested. The term expires in December 2014.

“There have also been other people that have submitted their names and we will take those into consideration also,” said Pagenhardt. Anybody else who is interested should submit a letter of interest to the commissioners for that vacancy.”

The Board of Education made a decision in April to close Kitzmiller and Dennett Road elementary schools. During an April meeting, Durst indicated his opposition to closing the schools.

“… I’m afraid if we close the schools, even if they come through with twice the money, they won’t open back up,” he said. “I will not be able to vote to close schools tonight.”

Also during Tuesday’s meeting, the commissioners voted to hold a public hearing on their right to opt out of a law that requires sprinkler systems for townhouses and one- and two-family dwellings.

“Local governments can opt out until the next cycle of building codes come into play, which is in 2015,” said John Nelson, director of the Department of Planning and Land Development.

Nelson said the Department of Permits and Inspections Divisions was notified by the Maryland Codes of Administration of the modification to the residential sprinkler law. The public hearing will be held during the Aug. 21 commission meeting.

When the law had been discussed at a June commission meeting the department of planning was under the impression that all jurisdictions would have to adopt the law by Oct 1, according to Nelson.

Contact Elaine Blaisdell at eblaisdell@times-news.com

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