Ellen Willis, candidate for the House of Delegates, 5A-Carroll, told a League of Women Voters forum that the issues of the homeless and affordable housing are problems that will continue to demand a realistic solution in the 1990s.
Problems related to drug and alcohol abuse also threaten everyone in the community, increasing the incidence of crime and affecting both the home and place of employment, she said. The growing problem must be addressed with increased programs in prevention and treatment, she added.
Money for these programs should come from increased alcohol taxes and from property confiscated during drug busts, then given to employers through matching grants for providing treatment programs to employees.
Strong, decisive and knowledgeable representatives will be needed to create aggressive programs to address these problems without bankrupting the community, she said.
Citing her skills, Willis said that her years of community service had allowed her to build an understanding of governmental process, as well as to develop skills in consensus building.
Additionally, she feels she has the energy to do the job in Annapolis.
"We need to take a pro-active stance during the '90s, when critical issues that will impact all of our lives are being decided," she said, "and be able to make informed decisions that will adequately address these issues."
Willis recently received the endorsement of The Baltimore Sun, which characterized her as having the ability to be a "forceful presence in Annapolis."
FITZGERALD IS ENDORSED
School board candidate Mike Fitzgerald has been keeping busy campaigning while attending to family, work and community activities.
Attending the League of Women Voters, Chamber of Commerce, South Carroll Homeowners Association and Fairhaven forums has given him a chance to express his thoughts and ideas on school system leadership as well as talk and listen to the candidates for other county and state positions.
Fitzgerald believes a close relationship will be needed between the school board and those elected to all other offices.
The candidate had a dinner to raise money and allow friends and family involved in the campaign to mingle and relax. Those attending were kept laughing by Kay-Cee the Clown, who did light magic and included the crowd in her act.
A member of the Carroll Community College Board, Fitzgerald attended its October meeting and the dedication ceremony for the new campus.
At the Recreation and Parks Board meeting in October, he was honored by his peers for seven years of dedicated service, including service as chairman.
Fitzgerald has been endorsed recently by Commissioners Jeff Griffith and Julia Gouge, which he sees as an indication of the cooperative non-partisan relationship he was able to foster with government officials while serving on other committees and boards.
He also has attended the MADD formation meeting, Westminster High's Parent Advisory meeting, the Child Care Task Force work session, and still hasn't missed a Westminster Optimist Youth Football league game.
WILL GETS SUPPORT
Commissioner candidate Richard F. Will Sr. is continuing to gain support while campaigning as the election draws near.
Will has gone door to door in the South Carroll and Hampstead-Manchester areas in the past week.
He also attended forums at Liberty High School and Fairhaven and met with fire emergency personnel at the county Emergency Operations Center.
He also attended the Parks and Recreation Volunteer of the Year Awards last Wednesday.
Once considered a long shot in the commissioners' race, Will has seen voters begin to align with his "common sense" approach to government, promise to make the tough decisions and his strong leadership ability.
A final fund-raiser and rally for Will is scheduled for 3-5 p.m.
Sunday at VFW Post 467 on Poole Road, Westminster. Donation is $15.
FLETCHER TO FORUM
UNIONTOWN -- School board candidate Bob Fletcher was unable to be at the candidates' forum Monday night at Francis Scott Key High School.
The following is the statement he wanted to make:
"It is with frustration and regret that I cannot be with all of you this evening. My pacemaker is in the process of being repaired and adjusted and I hope to be out of the hospital in a few days.
"I especially was looking forward to attending this evening's forum because both of my daughters graduated from Francis Scott Key High School and I am a past PTA president here and I have many friends in this attendance area.
"My campaign literature is built on the theme that I am dedicated to the children and parents of Carroll County.
"I feel the Francis Scott Key area is deserving of a new high school and will do my best, if re-elected, to work for this goal with our Board of Education, as well as local and state officials.