Duties of the Office

Commissioner Powers

The powers of the County Commissioners are varied and many. As outlined in Article 25 of the Annotated Code of Maryland, the County Commissioners of each county in the state are declared to be a corporation.

They shall have full power to:
  • Appoint county officers, supervisors, and agents
  • Assess, levy and collect taxes; provide for printing and publishing the audit of accounts; protect county credit
  • Be involved with health and nuisances as it deals with conditions detrimental to health; establish a County Board of Health
  • Be trustees of the poor
  • Enact laws for historic/landmark zoning and preservation/land development
  • Enact laws for protection and promotion of public safety and health (including roads, waste disposal, soil erosion, zoning, planning and building ordinances)
  • Enter into agreements, ordinances or resolutions
  • Establish and appoint members to the Board of Appeals
  • Grant franchises under existing laws
  • Guarantee loans to volunteer fire departments
  • Have control over property owned by the county (including roads and bridges) and provide for the protection of this property
  • Keep prisoners
  • Make use of federal and state financial assistance for economic development projects;
  • Participate in federally assisted projects (i.e. watershed, flood prevention, drainage improvement projects) by accepting grants and borrowing money
  • Provide for competitive bidding for county work (including making and awarding contracts for services, supplies and equipment)
  • Provide for development and administration of recreation
  • Provide for/maintain county institutions (i.e. court house, jail)
  • Rearrange and/or create election districts and precincts
  • Record and index county records
  • Regulate conditions for livestock (dogs, cows, etc.) running at large.

Allegany County is a Home Rule County

Allegany County has been a Code Home Rule County since l974 and has enjoyed the distinction of being one of only six counties in the state governed as a Code Home Rule county. Code Home Rule gives us the privilege of exercising direct control over county affairs by assuming the right and obligation to govern by legislative power. It allows us to take immediate action to correct or improve specific problems and issues relative to Allegany County-without waiting for the Maryland General Assembly to act during the annual 90 day legislative session. The county legislative process is much less expensive than the state process and gives our citizens the opportunity to participate directly in the legislative process-from submitting ideas, to introduction of the bills, to attending hearings and passage of the bills-and the right to referendum. It gives all citizens the opportunity to be heard about all proposed local legislation. Code Home Rule gives the Board of County Commissioners a more personal awareness of the needs of the community.

In addition to the aforementioned duties and responsibilities conveyed to the County Commissioners by law, they hold public meetings to take action on items that affect the smooth and efficient operation of Allegany County Government. These meetings also give all citizens the opportunity to be heard. The County Commissioners serve and/or have representation on many local and state government boards, committees, and task forces.