The Frederick County Conservative Club is suspending its campaign to collect petition signatures for voters to decide this fall whether to return to the county commissioner form of government.

Fred Propheter, president of the club, said in a statement he didn't want to put volunteers at risk amid coronavirus concerns.

"With dozens of volunteers needing to gather the required 10,000-plus signatures, the reward pales [in comparison] when compared to the risk," Propheter said. 

The conservative club was leading an effort to place a ballot question asking county residents whether to return to a commissioner form of government. In that form of government, a board of commissioners serves as both the legislative branch and the administrative body, helping run day-to-day operations.

In a charter form of government — which Frederick County currently operates under — a county executive runs the day-to-day operations of government and a county council serves as the legislative branch.

"We pray this public health emergency passes quickly and with minimal health and economic impact. ... We thank our volunteers and the public at large for their support," Propheter said in a statement.

Follow Steve Bohnel on Twitter: @Steve_Bohnel.

Steve Bohnel is the county government reporter for the Frederick News-Post. He can be reached at He graduated from Temple University, with a journalism degree in May 2017, and is a die-hard Everton F.C. fan.

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