Acquard for County Council District 3

October 19, 1994

In the race for Howard County Council in the Third District, voters face two well-known quantities in county circles whose views on the issues are fairly similar. One, however, possesses the greater political strength and public sector experience to assume this seat: Democrat Charles Acquard.

Mr. Acquard, 36, is a lobbyist for consumer-owned utilities. In addition to his work in Washington -- Mr. Acquard formerly lobbied for handgun control under the Brady Bill -- his background in local public service is extensive. He served on the Columbia Council for six years, including two years as chair, and sat as a director on the boards of the Howard County Community Action Council and the Howard County Housing Alliance.

As a Columbia Council member, he helped to lower the planned community's residential assessment fee for the first time ever. He should bring the same fiscal conservatism to the County Council.

Mr. Acquard's opposition to the so-called zoning referendum on the Nov. 8 ballot is also on target. He rightly prefers that the county address problems with its zoning system cautiously through charter revision, due to begin next year.

On issues such as school funding and public safety, Mr. Acquard has more thorough and concrete views than his opponent. Among them, he opposes year-round schooling, as do we.

Mr. Acquard has a strong opponent in Republican Dennis R. Schrader, who narrowly lost a bid for the County Council four years ago against Shane Pendergrass, who is currently running for the House of Delegates in District 13A. While Mr. Schrader's background as director of operations for the University of Maryland Medical Systems is impressive, he cannot match Mr. Acquard's public service credentials. He has, to his credit, been vice chairman of the Columbia Housing Corporation.

Mr. Schrader has said he does not necessarily oppose the zoning referendum, although he would prefer that zoning changes wait for charter revision. Such equivocation may be designed to broaden his voter appeal, but it betrays a lack of commitment to either goal. Voters are entitled to more solid assurances from their elected officials. While Mr. Schrader has shied away from this controversy, Mr. Acquard has stepped to the plate.

4( Tomorrow: County Council District 4.

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