Greg Murray Speaks on the Responsibilities of County Commissioners

Former Washington County Administrator Greg Murray spoke at the October 30 Citizens Above Partisanship meeting. Murray retired in June amid what has unfortunately become typical ineptitude from our County Commissioners. His remarks addressed his understanding, based on 35 years of experience, of the qualities a good Commissioner should possess.

In addition to the necessity of understanding the duties and responsibilities of the office, Murray spoke of the substantial time commitment needed to prepare for meetings, work with other parts of county government, and learn about issues facing the community. A good Commissioner spends time with his or her constituents, discusses questions and concerns with county staff, and is prepared to discuss decisions in public session.

Murray stressed that understanding the financial and human resources implications of decisions is a critical part of each Commissioner’s job. He pointed out that credit rating agencies on Wall Street pay attention to what happens in Washington County, and that rash decision-making can have far-reaching negative consequences.

“A Commissioner has a sworn duty to work for the betterment of the County,” he said, and must set aside “personal agendas, favoritism, and ego… when elected to the Board.” He acknowledged that the office requires sacrifice, but stressed that “sound decision making, tempered with empathy, is critical to the success of the organization and the community the Commissioners serve.”

Murray’s remarks will be important as CAP prepares to put together a job description outlining what we expect from candidates for County Commissioner who want our support in the 2018 election.