A WAVE of anti-incumbent fever is sweeping the country. Nowhere has it been more evident than in Baltimore County where two incumbent councilmen were defeated in the primary election and another just managed to survive.
I decided to ride the crest of this wave because I share the frustration of my Baltimore County neighbors. We are angry about high property taxes and a newly imposed beverage tax. But most of all, we are exasperated by the failure of the incumbent county executive to control government costs through efficiency and sensible spending priorities, and by his high-handed disregard of our concerns.
It is not easy to run against an incumbent who has a million-dollar campaign chest and political machinery at his command. But it is not insurmountable because the voters of Baltimore County are intelligent and discerning. Their votes cannot be bought with a glitzy advertising campaign.
The voters do, however, deserve to know why my supporters consider me a desirable alternative to the incumbent: I was born and raised in Baltimore County, was graduated from Sparrows Point High School, and worked my way through Essex Community College and the University of Baltimore. I earned a bachelor's degree in business management and have also done graduate work at Loyola College.
I started my business career in the mail room at Eastern Stainless Steel, and climbed through the ranks to become vice president for operations. I left Eastern Stainless Steel to accept a vice presidency at George Transfer, Inc., a position I resigned to run for county executive.
Along with my business career, I have always been extremely involved in community activities. I served for 10 years on the Baltimore County Board of Education, seven of them as president. I also served as president of the Essex Community College Foundation, and the Fort Howard Recreation Council; trustee of the Council for Economic Education in Maryland; and on the board of the Baltimore County Chamber of Commerce.
My experience in both business and community activities has prepared me well to serve as Baltimore county executive. In business I learned cost control and financial management, as well as how to work effectively with people. My community involvement has given me a good perspective on what the people of Baltimore County need, and made me aware of the common values that give us strength as a community.
Our citizens are crying out for efficiency and frugality in government, but this goal cannot be accomplished without better planning.
I am, therefore, disturbed by the lack of vision in Baltimore County government. The incumbent county executive has made blueprint to move our county through the 1990s in a way which will assure a better quality of life in the 21st century. I will involve citizens from every walk of life in my efforts to devise such a plan.
In this era of perplexing fiscal problems, government must be willing to change priorities. Baltimore County must focus on spending a bigger proportion of funds on public education, economic development, public safety and environmental programs. Although space restrictions prevent me from explaining my positions on these issues, position papers are available at my headquarters.
The incumbent county executive, a career politician for most of his adult life, has blamed everyone from his own high-level political appointees to the people of Baltimore County themselves for the dissatisfaction and frustration many voters have expressed about both his performance and style in office. A real leader takes responsibility for his own actions.
I will make the tough choices that are required to spend the tax dollars of Baltimore County citizens prudently, and I will provide the open, responsive leadership Baltimore Countians are demanding.
Mr. Hayden is the Republican candidate for Baltimore County executive.