WESTMINSTER, Md. (AP) — After accusations of bullying, threats of lawsuits and some yelling, the Carroll County Board of Commissioners will try to set a positive tone for meetings.

Commissioner Doug Howard has asked the board to start meetings with a segment called “Positively Carroll.” The new segment will take place after public comment and could feature good news from the commissioners ranging from nonprofit organizations’ activities or money-saving measures to recognition of residents.

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The Carroll County Times reports that during recent meetings, commissioners have raised their voices, pounded on the desk, threatened lawsuits and one even tearfully accused fellow commissioners of bullying her.

“There’s always going to be frustrations, there’s always going to be differences … but I hope that all five of us can take a little bit of time to concentrate on some of the positive things going on,” Howard said. “I think it’ll be good for the community and I think it’ll be good for us too.”

Howard said he hopes other commissioners will join in.

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Commissioner Haven Shoemaker plans to participate and said it’s important for the commissioners to set aside differences and focus on good things going on in the county.

“Unfortunately, with some of the vitriol and hype that we’ve seen over the last few meetings, the positive stuff that we’ve been doing kind of gets lost,” Shoemaker said. “I think this is Commissioner Howard’s attempt to call the positive stuff that’s going on in county government to folks’ attention. It’s probably high-time we did that.”

Information from: Carroll County Times of Westminster, Md., http://www.carrollcounty.com/

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