Candidates favor strengthening police force ELECTION '93: Westminster

May 09, 1993


W. Benjamin Brown

* Biography: Age: 48; married to Margaret (20 years), two children (Jess, 15, and Marcie, 9); education: B.S. -- social science, Towson State College, master's in social administration, University of Maryland; mayor since 1989; own and operate Benjamin's Fine Candles; former state employee; member of Westminster Optimist Club and Moose.

* Question 1: Rivalry? Does the left hand rival the right? Both our downtown and our Route 140 centers are integral parts of Westminster's economic vitality. Taken together, their differences are pluses -- Main Street, markets and mall, we've got it all! City government's role is to encourage cooperation that results in one hand washing the other.

* Question 2: I've asked Westminster's council to add four additional police officers, because our laws are only as meaningful as our resolve to enforce them. We have little choice, if we want decent neighborhoods -- citizens must care enough to report suspicious or clearly criminal behavior (857-TIPS), and the city must deploy the police needed to respond quickly and effectively.

* Question 3: The lesson of the last two years is that Westminster's 83-cent tax rate has been more than adequate to handle the strain of a very weak economy. The city has maintained services, pursued needed capital projects and avoided employee layoffs. When, as appears likely, our economy recovers, I'll be asking the council to cut Westminster's tax rate -- not raise it.

* Question 4: I prefer to speak in terms of challenges, rather than problems. Our biggest challenge is to maintain affordable government services -- water, roads, police, fire, parks, etc. Taxpayers have a right to demand services, but government's ** challenge is to determine what and how much is appropriate, in order that all of us -- old and young, native and newcomer -- can afford to live in Westminster.


Edward S. Calwell

* Biography: Age: 48; married to Wanda, two children (Eddie, 15, and Jeffery, 13); B.S. in marketing from University of Baltimore, 1973; resident of Carroll County for 22 years (10 in Westminster); systems analyst, U.S. Public Health Service; member of St. John's Catholic Church, Westminster; veteran of U.S. Air Force (served in Vietnam from 1967 to 1972); chairman ofWestminster Public Utilities Commission; president of Westminster Area Recreation Council; previously served on Westminster Board of Zoning Appeals, Parks Board and City Historic District Committee; was associate director of Carroll Gymnastics Center

Question 1: The city should be willing to listen to the needs of local business, regardless of their location within the city limits. Further, the city should foster support for economic development within the city. The city's role should not duplicate the efforts of the Chamber of Commerce in fostering harmony among businesses.

* Question 2: Increase police strength, add more foot patrols, encourage more police-civilian interaction (including beefing up Neighborhood Watch programs). Increased awareness of the TIPS hot line telephone network. Emphasize public education and awareness programs (i.e. school programs, use of local media and newsletters).

* Question 3: The fiscal management practices utilized by the Westminster City Finance Department are very effective and have kept our city financially sound for many years through good and bad economic times. Additionally, given the current rate of growth and the associated assessment and tax revenue, the city should be able to counteract any downturns in the economic climate.

* Question 4: The city will have to address key environmental requirements as mandated by the federal and state law, including water treatment, wastewater treatment and storm-water management. Higher costs for handling solid waste and additional environmental requirements expected of municipalities cannot be ignored. The city is continuing to take steps to ensure that our city is environmentally sound.

Dennis Frazier

* Biography: Age: 36; married to Debbie, two children (Christopher and Sarah); president, Greens of Westminster Home Owners Association 1989-92; past vice chairman, City of Westminster Parks Board; past member of the Tree Committee for the City of Westminster.

* Question 1: I feel the city should not "take sides" in a rivalry between businesses on 140 and Main Street, both of which pay city taxes.

* Question 2: I think the city should have the police officers out of their cars more, walking wherever possible. Communication between the public and the police is vital. However, people have to "take back" their

own streets.

* Question 3: Taxes should not be raised. The city is receiving around $170,000 more this year than last, just because of the rise in property values. For a city the size of Westminster, that should be enough to keep up with the rising cost. If there is a shortfall in funds, the city must make do with what it has.

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