Mikulski pays visit, hears local concerns

February 10, 1993|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Staff Writer

Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski visited Carroll County yesterday to meet and greet the people.

"The people are my best advisers," the Maryland Democrat told county commissioners and department heads during a 90-minute meeting at the County Office Building.

Ms. Mikulski, who was elected to a second term in November, listened to the commissioners and other county officials talk about county problems and promised to help with a few.

She also toured Random House Inc. where she encountered a few ardent supporters. One was a woman who held a red-and-white campaign poster over her head in the warehouse when the senator came through.

"You're going to be president someday," Diane Stuller of New Windsor told Ms. Mikulski.

Earlier that day, after she heard the senator would be visiting, Ms. Stuller --ed from her forklift to her home to get two Mikulski posters. Ms. Mikulski autographed the posters for Ms. Stuller's two children and told them to "Go for it."

Other employees snapped her picture as she toured the telephone sales department and shook her

hand in the cafeteria, agreeing when she said she prefers a steak sub to steamed broccoli.

Another employee left a different type of message, handwritten in green marker on a white piece of paper and taped to the edge of a stack of boxes: "Impeach Clinton."

If she saw it, Ms. Mikulski chose not to comment.

"There's a real vitality here," the senator said about employees at Carroll's largest private employer.

Ms. Mikulski said counties should expect President Bill Clinton to be more sensitive to local and state governments.

She said the president understands that if the federal government mandates certain programs, it must give local and state governments money to pay for them.

Her visit to Carroll was the first in a series of visits she's making to county governments in Maryland.

Commissioner Elmer C. Lippy, the only Democrat on the board, had the job of welcoming Ms. Mikulski to the county.

"We have a lot in common. We're both rather voluble. We're people of a few million words," he joked.

The senator zinged him back sometime later when he gave her a pin with the Carroll County seal.

"Does this mean we're pinned?" she said. "Where were you when I needed a prom date?"

Ms. Mikulski said she will help Carroll commissioners plow through state and federal bureaucracy in their efforts to build Gillis Falls reservoir in South Carroll.

Commissioner Julia W. Gouge said the project, begun in the PTC mid-1970s, was progressing well until about three years ago when the county got bogged down in new wetlands regulations.

The county has spent about $4 million to buy about 1,100 acres for the reservoir, which would provide water for the South Carroll region.

But Carroll officials are receiving conflicting messages about the project from state and federal officials, Mrs. Gouge said.

"We need help," she said.

Ms. Mikulski offered to set up a meeting at either her Baltimore or Washington office with county,

state and federal representatives to discuss the project.

"You have the right to be heard," she told the commissioners.

The senator cautioned Commissioner Donald I. Dell about his idea to extend I-795 parallel to Route 140 through Carroll County and into Pennsylvania.

New roads bring positive things to communities, but they also can hurt businesses on Main Street, she said. She encouraged him to look at other communities where bypasses have been built.

Mr. Dell told the senator he wants to build an incinerator at the Northern Landfill.

The county also could build a sewage system in Finksburg, which would open up the Route 140 corridor there for industry, he said.

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