Orenstein to run for county post

June 02, 1994|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Sun Staff Writer

Westminster Councilwoman Rebecca A. Orenstein said yesterday she is running for Carroll County commissioner because she wants to find ways to handle the county's growing population without sacrificing the quality of life.

"I don't want to have a legacy of loss here," said Ms. Orenstein, a Democrat. "I cannot rest at this point. I want to be part of the process. That doesn't come from ego, it comes from the privilege of being part of life here."

Ms. Orenstein, 51, filed candidacy papers for a commissioner's seat at the county Board of Elections on Tuesday. All three commissioner's seats are open in this year's election.

She is one of three Democrats and four Republicans who have announced that they are running. The primary is Sept. 13.

Ms. Orenstein has lived in Carroll for 25 years. In 1991, she was the first woman elected to the Westminster council. Her term expires in May 1995.

She said that she has learned a lot about government during her time on the council, and that she has been part of an effort to reduce city taxes and the size of city government.

"I feel people are mistrustful and believe waste pervades government," she said. "I know how to be very lean. The lessons I've learned about streamlining and efficient government are things I can take to county government.

"There's a very strong work ethic in our city and our county. People have worked hard for their money. I feel I have handled pTC their money responsibly. I work, and I work very hard. I know how it feels when you see an increase in your taxes.

"Government has to run as efficiently as we run our businesses."

Ms. Orenstein owns a commercial and portrait photography business. She began working with developmentally disabled people several months ago at The ARC of Carroll County.

The county government, she said, should focus on economic development to attract new businesses to employ residents.

"I would like people to be able to stay here and work. I find people are exhausted [from commuting] and unable to participate in the community," Ms. Orenstein said.

Carroll should have a full-time economic development director, she said. The commissioners decided this month to hire a full-time director after being without one since August.

Economic development can be tied with responsible environmental policies, Ms. Orenstein said, but county regulations on businesses can be "fair, lean and responsive."

She also said county officials should push harder for state money to build bypasses to help alleviate "congested and dangerous roads."

The other Democrats running for a commissioner seat are:

* Incumbent Commissioner Elmer C. Lippy, a former mayor of Manchester, who is serving his first term as commissioner.

* Neil Ridgely of Finksburg, the county's landscape and forest conservation manager.

The Republicans candidates are:

* Westminster Mayor W. Benjamin Brown, who is in his second term as mayor.

* Incumbent Commissioner Donald I. Dell of Westminster, a farmer serving his first term.

* Charles Stull of Deep Run, office manager of the state Department of Parole and Probation in Westminster.

* Richard T. Yates of Eldersburg, a retired federal employee who ran for commissioner in 1990 and finished fourth in the general election with 14,641 votes.

The third incumbent commissioner, Republican Julia W. Gouge of Hampstead, is running for the House of Delegates in the 5th District.

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