Gregory I. Snook, the president and chief executive officer of the Hagerstown-Washington County Industrial Foundation, attended the meeting, which he called an opportunity for “strategizing” about the upcoming General Assembly session.
“There was a whole list of possible projects,” he said. “Some of (them) are attainable. Some are not.”
Wayne D. Ridenour, the county school board president, also was at the meeting, but declined to comment on it.
“Not right now,” he said Thursday, noting that he hadn’t had time to talk to other school board members about the discussion.
The email list shows that others who were invited included Hagerstown Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II; Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce President Brien J. Poffenberger; and businessman Donald M. Bowman.
Bowman was on the state panel that recommended the 15-cent gas-tax hike over three years, but he disagreed with the recommendation.
No meeting violation
Washington County Commissioner John F. Barr also was invited, but said he didn’t attend because he was at a Maryland Association of Counties winter conference in Cambridge, Md.
Commissioners Terry L. Baker and William B. McKinley also were on the email invitation list.
If three county commissioners had attended, it could have been an unadvertised government body meeting, a violation of the state’s Open Meetings Act, but Metzner confirmed that that wasn’t the case.
Donoghue was the only state lawmaker on the email invitation list. The seven other Washington County delegation members — six Republicans and one Democrat — have said they do not support raising the state’s gas tax this year.
In his email, Poole wrote: “Recently, I’ve been in Annapolis and had discussions with some decision-makers about how possibly to fund the bridge and also the potential move of the BOE HQ. In that the Legislature convenes very soon, I’d like to get together to talk about these issues and determine whether we wish to move forward.
“I apologize in advance for not inviting a number of influential people to this meeting. I know that they will need to be involved if we move forward and I will explain my thinking further when we meet.
“The meeting will be private and held at the Multi-Purpose Room of Fountain Head Country Club, Wednesday, Jan. 4, from 5:30 to no later than 7 p.m. (drinks only). Please respond as to whether you will be attending. Thanks. Bruce.”
Donoghue said he looks forward to another similar meeting with the group and promised to invite a Herald-Mail reporter to cover it.