Commission candidates target growth, economy 25 people hear priorities at forum in Westminster

October 09, 1998|By John Murphy | John Murphy,SUN STAFF

In their first public forum before the Nov. 3 general election, six candidates for the Board of County Commissioners said last night growth control, economic development and improving government relations with the public would be some of their top priorities if elected.

"We need to get a handle on growth in our county," said Carolyn Fairbank, an Independent candidate who collected more than 3,000 signatures to get her name on the ballot. "No matter where you live in the county, taxes have the ability to be raised because of infrastructure fees."

Union Bridge Mayor Perry L. Jones Jr., a Democrat, agreed, promising to manage growth and improve education.

Democrat Roger Larry Mann promised that increased citizen participation in budgeting, planning, economic development and other issues would be his top priority if elected. "If we don't have adequate citizen participation, how do you know what the citizens want?" Mann said.

Republicans Robin Bartlett Frazier and Donald I. Dell, an incumbent, advocated improving government operation.

Dell said that during the past four years "glitches" occurred because he and the other commissioners failed to stay informed about all the projects and programs handled by county government. He did not explain what specific glitches or problems occurred.

If re-elected, Dell said, he would hold weekly meetings with county government department heads.

Julia Walsh Gouge of Hampstead, a former two-term Commissioner and the leading Republican vote-getter in the primary, said promoting businesses is the most important issue facing Carroll.

Democrat Maxine Carole Wooleyhand did not attend the forum at Westminster Senior Center sponsored by Carroll County Association of Realtors Inc. About 25 residents were there.

Earlier last night, seven of the nine candidates vying to represent Carroll in the General Assembly were posed similar questions.

Democrat George Hayes Littrell Jr. of Frederick, a former school principal, challenged his opponent, incumbent state Sen. Timothy R. Ferguson, a Republican of Taylorsville, on taxes.

Ferguson said he had never voted to raise taxes while in office. Littrell accused Ferguson of increasing the burden on taxpayers by allowing spending to increase -- even if the tax rate did not.

"If you don't hold the line on spending, someone is paying more money," said Littrell, who hopes to represent the district that covers western Carroll and eastern Frederick County.

Republican Del. Donald B. Elliott of New Windsor is defending his House seat in the western Carroll-eastern Frederick district from a challenge by school board member Ann M. Ballard, a Mount Airy Democrat. Ballard was absent last night.

Republican state Sen. Larry E. Haines of Westminster, who is unopposed in the general election, was not at the forum.

Three Republicans and one Democrat are competing for three House seats in eastern Carroll.

Republican incumbents Del. Nancy R. Stocksdale of Westminster and Del. Joseph M. Getty of Manchester are joined by Carmen Amedori of Westminster. Del. Ellen Willis Miller of Westminster is the Democrat.

Pub Date: 10/09/98

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