About the Board
The Board of
County Commissioners is the chief administrative and
policymaking body of Washington County government, and consists of five
members, four of whom are elected from districts and one of whom is
elected at-large. Board members serve four-year staggered terms. The
Board chooses a Chair and Vice Chair from among its membership
during its first meeting in December.
The greatest single responsibility of the Board is control over the
County's finances. Every spring the Board must adopt a budget which
appropriates funds to the many departments and agencies of County
government, and, at the same time, provides sufficient revenue to meet
these appropriations. The principal source of this revenue is the tax
levied by the Board on real estate and personal property in the County.
The Board of County Commissioners does not have
complete authority over all the services provided by the County. Many
County activities are administered by boards with varying degrees of
autonomy and by elected officials who receive their instructions from
laws passed by the General Assembly. Some examples are the boards of
education, social services, health, mental health, elections, register
of deeds, and sheriff.
State law requires the Commissioners to
appropriate funds in the areas of health, mental health, social
services, and public schools. They must also provide for the operation
of the offices of the Register of Deeds and the Sheriff, and are
required to allocate funds for the maintenance of courtrooms and related
facilities. Similarly, the Board is charged with building and
maintaining the County Courthouse in Plymouth and all other buildings
that house County departments.
One major responsibility of the Board is the
influence over the type and extent of development that will occur in the
unincorporated area of the County. The Board is the final authority on
requests for changes in and amendments to the County's Subdivision and
Mobile Home Ordinances.
The Board is assisted in the execution of its
duties by the full-time professional staff that constitutes the County's
Department of Administration. Washington County adopted the county
manager form of government in 1973.
The County Manager carries out the day-to-day
administration of County government for the Board of Commissioners. The
Manager implements the policies established by the Board, advises them
on matters of finance and future need, and makes to them any
recommendations considered advisable in the interest of sound
management. Perhaps the Manager's most important role is that of liaison
between the Commissioners and the many departments of County government.
The Manager serves in a similar capacity between the Board and the
governing bodies of the cities and towns of the County in an effort to
work with them toward the solution of joint problems. Additionally, the
Manager is the chief staff spokesperson for Washington County
Contacting the Board
To contact the Washington County Board of
Commissioners please call the Clerk to the Board at 252-793-5823 or
email the clerk at firstname.lastname@example.org