Choices for Harford council Sun endorsements: Incumbents Heselton, Chenowith best in districts A and B, with Richardson in C.

October 29, 1998

TWO MINUTES from the heavenly Harford County horse farm where the champion thoroughbred Cigar was born, you can have cafe latte at Starbucks, shop at a "big box" store and select from as many chain restaurants as there are days in a month. As suburbia continues its sometimes jarring transformation of Harford County, government's greatest challenge will be to harness that surge.

Today, The Sun endorses for council districts in the western and southern parts of the county, which range from some of Harford's richest horse country to some of its poorest communities.

In District A, we endorse Republican Susan B. Heselton for election to a third term. She has been a conscientious member of the council. She takes pride -- misplaced perhaps -- in not spending a dime on campaigning, denying voters a prime opportunity to get to know her better. Harford voters seem to identify with their County Council less than in any jurisdiction in the region; at-large voting allows candidates to lose in their own community and still win the county vote overall.

The Democratic candidate, Christopher Clark Boardman, has an eclectic resume, with jobs including true-crime writer and registered nurse. He led a battle to save a community pool in Joppatowne years ago. But he's not balanced enough on the growth issue.

In District B, we endorse another incumbent, Republican Veronica L. Chenowith. She's a persistent advocate for libraries and supported the striking renovation of the Bel Air branch, Harford County's top accomplishment last year. The Edgewood

branch is next up for a major expansion, and she supports a branch in the Abingdon "growth envelope" as well.

The Democrat, Valerie H. Twanmoh, is an attorney with some sensible views on land use. But Ms. Chenowith also was a strong voice for containing growth during last year's comprehensive rezoning. Her experience and enthusiasm get our nod.

District C, which includes the county seat of Bel Air, offers candidates with a good deal of government experience considering that neither has held elective office.

Democrat Lawrence A. Richardson Jr., 42, is an attorney, "soccer dad" and insurance lobbyist for the past decade in Annapolis. Republican Michael A. Geppi, owner of a graphics firm, is only 23, but studied government at Towson University and worked for state legislatures in Delaware and Maryland. He and classmates at North Harford High five years ago raised $44,000 to help the state preserve Kilgore Falls, an environmental gem near Rocks State Park.

But voters should choose the more seasoned and analytical Mr. Richardson, whose replies to The Sun's questionnaire on state and local issues were as factually detailed as any we received.

Tomorrow: Harford Council Districts D, E and F

Pub Date: 10/29/98

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