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Proposal Could Give Washington County Residents Greater Say In Local Government

WASHINGTON Pa. (KDKA) - People in Washington County may have a greater say in the workings of their local government. It would come in the form of a board made up of regular people. The board would be made up of eleven people, and you must live in Washington County to qualify.

Washington County Commissioner Diana Irey Vaughan said there's been a lot of turmoil in the courts, and stresses something needs to change.

"I think it should be up to the citizens because we are to be a government of the people, by the people and for the people," said Irey Vaughan.

Irey Vaughan said it's time the citizens have a say.

"We had a theft in an office under my last term, and this term. The courts have made us very aware of issues they're having on a daily basis with administering justice," said Irey Vaughan.

Irey Vaughan said there have been issues with the current clerk of courts and claims of a hostile work environment in the register of wills office. She hopes creating this board would make a difference.

"They could recommend that specific row offices be eliminated and those be appointed positions. They could recommend some offices be accountable to courts," said Irey Vaughan.

However, Washington County Commissioner Nick Sherman isn't so sure this proposal is a good thing.

"We have lower taxes and I don't want to burden a taxpayer with doing a costly study, which at the end of the day, won't really show anything," said Sherman.

Commissioners said they will vote on the ordinance next Friday, and if it passes, voters will see it on the ballot in November. People who serve on the board can also circulate petitions to get on the ballot as well.

Washington County residents KDKA's Amy Wadas talked to think it's a good idea.

"I think it would be good for the people in the community to come together and get in on it and give input and so forth and make them feel involved," said Washington resident Lisa Johnson.

"I believe there should be a board and not all government say. We should have a say too," said Bentleyville Resident Brian Vernet.

If a board would be put in place, Irey Vaughan said it would take at least nine months to gather information and make a recommendation to voters.

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