He would like new businesses to be located within the town limits instead of in shopping centers and buildings on the outskirts of Bel Air. He also would like to improve conditions for light industry within the town limits and favors annexation if it provides space for commercial development, which improves the tax base.
"We may have to look at offering businesses some deals such a tax breaks like those the county is working on," he says.
He agrees that traffic along the U.S. 1 and Route 24 corridors is a major problem and suggests soliciting grants from the state or federal government to come up with a long-range traffic solution.
ROBERT E. GREENE
* Age: 48.
* Occupation: owner of Robert E. Greene & Associates life insurance brokerage in Bel Air; chief executive officer of Network Recruiters employment service.
* Resident of Hickory Hills.
* Member, Maryland delegation to the White House Conference on Small Business; Susquehannock Environmental Center's board of directors; National Federation of Independent Business; past chairman of Harford Center.
Mr. Greene's priorities are improving conditions for business development, maintaining the downtown core of Bel Air and improving the town's working relationship with county government.
"We need to find shops and other interests that will bring visitors into town for the afternoon, to spend time there and enjoy the core of the town," he says.
He also would like more senior housing. "Statistics indicate that the size of the older population is growing. We need to be sensitive to that need and look for opportunities," he says.
MARY R. HARKINS-WHITE
* Age: 39.
* Occupation: customer relations representative for Super Fresh Bel Air.
* Resident of Howard Park.
* Member, Harford County Democratic Club; West Bel Air Civic Association.
A longtime resident of Howard Park, Ms. Harkins-White is vehemently against the extension of Route 22 through her neighborhood. The highway project may be on hold, she says, but "until it is removed from the books completely it will always be an issue."
She says the town has to exert more pressure on the county to stem residential development. "The town has the burden of maintaining our own roads in addition to keeping highways from coming right through our neighborhoods. We have to tell the county to stop some of this; it's going to smother and choke all of us," she says.
She would like a beltway system or bypass around the town on county property.
SUSAN K. MCCOMAS
* Age: 43.
* Occupation: attorney in Bel Air.
* Resident of Ingleside.
An incumbent, she has served eight years on the commission, two of them as chairwoman or mayor.
Ms. McComas says she fears that Bel Air -- the commercial, legal and financial center of the county -- will be forced to provide unlimited resources for the county. Traffic, in particular, will worsen in the months and years to come, she says.
"The problem is that Bel Air is smack dab in the middle of the service area for the entire county. . . . And how can we influence events outside our borders when we have an adversarial relationship with the county? It's too bad the town and county can't be more cooperative.
"It's awfully tough to be a pedestrian in Bel Air today," she says. "You cannot walk from Bolton Street to the Harford Mall. I think we need to do something."
She says she would provide a stabilizing influence on the board because of her extensive experience. No one else on the board has more than two years' experience.
MARA DEVINE PAIS
* Age: 35.
* Occupation: attorney with Karas & Bradford, in Aberdeen and Bel Air.
* Resident of Woodside.
* Vice chairwoman, Bel Air Board of Appeals; member, Bel Air Comprehensive Review Committee; member, Harford County Bar Association's Alcohol and Drug Education program in public middle and high schools.
Ms. Pais says her priorities, in order, are managing growth to preserve a small-town quality of life; restricting encroachment of business and commercialism into residential neighborhoods; and fully funding the Police Department so that it can keep pace with the commercial expansion of the town.
She stresses that annexation proposals should be evaluated for their impact on schools, roads and neighborhoods.
As a member of the town's zoning appeals board, she says, she is frustrated by the limitations of the board, which rules based on existing zoning law. She would like to be able to shape the zoning earlier in the legislative process.
"The town, county and state must seriously evaluate the 'beltway' and other alternatives to the extension of Route 22 through Howard Park," she says. "Residing in an older neighborhood myself, I am extremely sensitive to the pressures on these areas."
* Age: 28.
* Occupation: special education teacher, Edgewood Middle School.
* Resident of Homestead Village.