Anne Arundel's ballot questions

November 02, 1992

Anne Arundel voters will be deciding 13 local ballot questions tomorrow. Some are confusing, but voters should resist the urge to skip them. They involve important issues, from property taxes to labor disputes. Here are our recommendations:

* Vote FOR Question A. It would resolve the conflict that will arise if both term limit initiatives, Questions B and C, are approved. Question A says the amendment receiving the most votes takes effect. Without it, a court would decide the outcome.

* Vote AGAINST Questions B and C, which would limit County Council members to two or three four-year terms, respectively. Question C would apply retroactively. Neither is necessary, because voters can oust incumbents every four years.

* Vote AGAINST Question D, which would limit the annual growth in property tax revenues to 4.5 percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is lower. It would benefit large business taxpayers more than residents, endanger services and could cost taxpayers more through higher interest on bonds.

* Vote FOR Question E, which establishes an independent county ethics panel.

* Vote FOR Question F. It allows the county to amend its budget in mid-year without going through the General Assembly.

* Vote FOR Question G. This would permit the county to reorganize the government and create new departments.

* Vote AGAINST Question H, which says the county must establish pension benefits for its employees. The charter already makes this clear.

* Vote FOR Question I, which provides for public hearings on changes to the executive's annual budget bill, often called the "supplemental budget."

* Vote AGAINST Question J. This would allow unionized county workers to submit grievances directly to a binding arbitrator. Binding arbitration would take away elected officials' authority over labor disputes -- a fact that should concern voters, because such disputes involve their money.

* Vote FOR Questions K and L, which authorizes the Personnel Board and Board of Appeals to use private lawyers instead of county attorneys, a practice that leads to conflicts of interest.

* Vote FOR Question M, which would ban the county attorney from practicing law privately during a term of office.

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