Charles Stull enters race as Republican candidate for county commissioner

January 26, 1994|By Amy L. Miller | Amy L. Miller,Staff Writer

Wasteful spending and waffling on important Carroll issues by county commissioners have convinced Charles Stull to run and try to replace of one of them in November, the office manager of the Department of Parole and Probation announced yesterday.

"The federal government has already reached into our right pocket and is cleaning it out," said Mr. Stull, who filed as a Republican candidate for county commissioner yesterday morning.

"I want to keep the local government from reaching into our other pocket and cleaning it out," he told a group of reporters. "I would like to run for county commissioner to represent the home I dearly love. I'd like to see it improved."

Mr. Stull, who will turn 60 on Feb. 5, is the fourth person to officially announce his candidacy for county commissioner. Westminster Mayor W. Benjamin Brown filed for the race in November, and at that time, incumbents Donald I. Dell and Elmer C. Lippy said they would run again.

Carroll's third county commissioner, Julia W. Gouge, has said she is considering running for one of the 5th District's three seats in the House of Delegates, but she has yet to announce a decision.

Wasteful spending is evident in the county commissioners' recent decision to use portable cells rather than build a permanent addition to the Carroll County Detention Center, said Mr. Stull, who has worked for the county Parole and Probation office for 26 years. He has managed the office for the past 14 years, he said.

The commissioners have said they plan to spend $8 million to build a new facility at the landfill two years from now.

"It could be $10 million or $12 million two years from now," said Mr. Stull, adding that more than $115,000 has been spent in design and engineering studies. "This is a Band-Aid that will not serve the public in the long run. They [the commissioners] said they didn't have the money when the state said they would subsidize 50 percent of it."

Mr. Stull, who lives near Deep Run, said he could not provide any other examples of wasteful spending by the commissioners. However, he said the commissioners are technically being untruthful when they say county taxes have not been increased.

Although the tax rate has remained the same, many residents' homes were reassessed at a higher value last year, increasing the amount they owed the government.

"They [the commissioners] may not have come in the front door, but those who were reassessed got an increase," said Mr. Stull. "I think it's premature for me to say that I would cut taxes, but if I get in office and find ways to cut waste and reduce taxes, I'll do it.

"You can count on it."

Commissioner waffling includes the current indecision on whether to use portable offices donated by Martin Marietta in Middle River for the Board of Education, Mr. Stull said. County officials have verbally agreed to accept the buildings and must pay their heat and electric bills this winter while one commissioner still advocates use of the former Telemechanique building in Westminster instead.

"This is something that was free and it's costing the county money every day," Mr. Stull said, referring to the heating costs for the unused buildings.

On crime, Mr. Stull said he supports expansion of the Carroll County Drug Task Force, rejecting current criticisms by Commissioner Gouge, local defense attorneys and others about its methods.

"The drug problem has already manifested itself in a brutal murder on Center Street last year that was completely drug-related," he said. "The Drug Task Force is doing a great job and needs to be expanded to put out of business those people who are increasing the human suffering.

"They have to work under a certain veil of secrecy or the people they are after will know their methods. That would put the lives of people the task force works with in jeopardy."

Mr. Stull said he does not support forming a county police agency.

"I think the existing resident trooper program is cost effective," he said. "I can't see starting from scratch."

Growth is necessary in Carroll County but should be controlled by encouraging open space and supporting farming, said Mr. Stull, a 28-year county resident.

"It's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard," he said of right-to-farm legislation pending in Annapolis. "The farmers have been here longer than the people who are complaining."

Right-to-farm legislation protects farmers using acceptable agricultural practices from nuisance suits.

For solid waste disposal, Mr. Stull said a regional waste-to-energy incinerator between Howard, Carroll and Frederick counties was the most cost-effective option.

"I don't have a problem with [bringing trash from other areas into Carroll to use in the incinerator]," he said.

Mr. Stull, a 1971 graduate of the University of Baltimore with a bachelor's degree in social sciences, served as an IC Electrician 2nd Class with the Navy for four years during the Korean War.

He received a master's degree in criminal justice from the University of Baltimore in 1976.

This is the first time he has run for political office, Mr. Stull said.

"Government on all levels has lost sight of the fact that it represents the people," he said, adding that friends and acquaintances encouraged him to seek a commissioner's seat.

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