Endorsing in Council Districts 1 and 2

August 01, 1994

The First Councilmanic District in the southwest corner of Baltimore County is an intriguingly mixed bag of urban and rural, superhighway and scenic back road, sprawling park land and suburban sprawl. For the past four years, Republican Berchie Manley of Catonsville has tried to fulfill the needs of this diverse area and its 100,000 residents, but with scant success. While few doubt her earnestness and diligence, she has isolated herself on the council and thus had little impact on the panel's actions. Too often she has been more willing to go down in flames than compromise and obtain even a small victory, as with her NIMBYist opposition to a research park at the University of Maryland campus in Catonsville.

Voters taking part in next month's Republican primary deserve better candidates than Mrs. Manley and her lone opponent, Paul Knipe, a 30-year-old martial arts instructor and a political novice. Only because of Mr. Knipe's inexperience do we endorse, reluctantly, Berchie Manley.

Two men seek the Democratic nomination -- George Abendschoen, 59, a former aide to Republican County Executive Roger Hayden, an unsuccessful candidate in the 1990 First District primary and the director of the committee that has barred a gay veterans group from marching in the Catonsville July 4 parade; and 34-year-old Stephen "Sam" Moxley, a Catonsville lawyer and the county central committee treasurer. Though Mr. Abendschoen has more government experience, we support Mr. Moxley in the belief that he can bring a fresher, more progressive outlook to council work.

The equally diverse Second Councilmanic District includes valley land and the Liberty Road corridor, as well as the most African-Americans of any council district. We think the Democrat best suited to the challenges of this council seat, which is being vacated by county executive hopeful Melvin Mintz, is 36-year-old Pikesville lawyer Kevin Kamenetz. His experiences as the chairman of the county Democratic Party, a former assistant state's attorney for Baltimore and an official with various community groups have prepared him well for council service.

In the Republican primary, Jacqueline Fleming of Lochearn is running unopposed.

?/ Tomorrow: Council Districts Three and Five.

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