3 council candidates oppose highway, favor center CAMPAIGN 1994

September 01, 1994|By Consella A. Lee and John Rivera | Consella A. Lee and John Rivera,Sun Staff Writers

A story in yesterday's Anne Arundel edition of The Sun incorrectly stated the location of the Arundel Improvement Association Hall. It is in Brooklyn Park.

The Sun regrets the error.

Annapolis' three candidates for County Council said that they would oppose any state plan to build a highway through town and that consideration should be given to a proposed conference center.

But they differed on whether the county should create a Department of Corrections and whether council members should represent their own districts.


The candidates, Republicans William Mulford II and Kenneth R. Sosnoski and Democrat Melinda Hamilton, were queried by a five-person panel during a live televised forum Tuesday night at the Annapolis City Hall. The forum was sponsored by the Community Associations of Annapolis.

The three were unanimous in their opposition to a rumored state connector road between the new bridge over the Severn River and Aris T. Allen Boulevard. State highway officials said yesterday that there are no plans to build such as road.

"The last thing we want to do is resemble New Jersey, where all you are is an exit on a parkway," Mr. Sosnoski said.

Ms. Hamilton said one way that the community can have more influence over the State Highway Administration's projects is to lobby their state delegates.

The candidates agreed that the conference center, which is being proposed by the Annapolis and Anne Arundel County Convention and Visitors Bureau, is an idea that should be studied, but only if it can be built without cost to the taxpayers.

"I think that it would not be wise on my part, if I were on the County Council, to ignore any potential source of revenue," Mr. Mulford said.

Ms. Hamilton said that she is not opposed to the conference center, but that the plan needs some work. "The funding was not very well thought out," she said. "The restaurant and hotel industries did not appear to be very serious in the amount of money they were willing to put forth for it."

The candidates were asked whether they would support the creation of a county Department of Corrections and a corrections plan similar to agencies in Prince George's and Montgomery counties, which would include a prerelease center, drug counseling and other alternative sentencing programs.

Mr. Mulford, who is an assistant state's attorney, said he strongly supports the proposed plan to build a minimum security detention center in Glen Burnie and renovate the detention center on Jennifer Road just outside Annapolis.

"When we do that, we must do that under a unified Department of Corrections," he said.

Ms. Sosnoski said that with the proposed jail project, a comprehensive corrections plan is evolving. "I think basically it's happening de facto," he said.

But Ms. Hamilton said that although she supported the creation of a comprehensive criminal justice plan, she was leery of adding to county government bureaucracy. "It rings of new dollars to me," she said.

In terms of electing council members from districts instead of from the county at large, Ms. Hamilton was alone in thinking it was a bad idea. "I think it has unnecessarily politicized the process," she said.

Mr. Mulford said he saw no contradiction between representing a district and working for the entire county. He will do the same for both: maintain essential services within the revenue limits of the property tax cap.

Mr. Sosnoski said electing council members from districts fosters better representation. "If everyone were elected at-large, who would you go to if you had a problem, if you wanted to bend someone's ear?" he said.

In Glen Burnie, incumbent George F. Bachman was the only County Council candidate to speak at the Arundel Improvement Association forum. As he rose to do so, Mr. Bachman, who is recovering from heart bypass surgery, received applause from the audience.

"This is first political speech I've made since I've been out of the hospital," he said.

Mr. Bachman said he has found that crime is the most important issue to North County voters. He advocated more community-based policing programs and more officers walking a beat.

The Linthicum Democrat also came back to his alternative to building a detention center on Ordnance Road in Glen Burnie: using the vacant Winterode building in Crownsville, which once housed office for the Department of Recreation and Parks. With few million dollars in renovations, he said, the building could be used to incarcerate inmates who committed nonviolent crimes.

Carl G. "Dutch" Holland, another council incumbent seeking re-election, was there but did not speak.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.