GOP mayoral candidates reveal visions for city

September 10, 1999

The following are edited excerpts of the responses by Republican candidates for mayor of Baltimore to a Sun questionnaire. The Democratic candidates' responses appeared earlier this week.

Carl M. Adair

On mayoral style and role model: I have observed several former mayors of Baltimore and have learned from each. My priority will be education: improve classroom instruction, classroom behavior, praising the good students and teachers. I will also reduce crime by using education and technical training of students. If our students are better trained, they will become employable and contributors to our city.

On criticism in Annapolis of Baltimore's use of state money: This is not a fair criticism.

On regional cooperation and tax-base sharing: My alternatives to tax-base sharing would be working cooperatively with officials in the region for the allocation of federal and state resources.

Arthur William Cuffie Jr.

On mayoral style: I would be a strong, hands-on and personable mayor. My role models are Thomas D'Alesandro III, Theodore R. McKeldin and William D. Schaefer.

On privatization: I do not favor privatization of city services.

Lynwood Hudson Leverette

On mayoral style: While both mayors Kurt L. Schmoke and William Donald Schaefer were excellent representatives for the city, I tend to admire the mayoral style of Mr. Schaefer, who was clearly a people's mayor. As mayor, I would be both manager and salesperson. Any mayor with any vision at all should observe both positions as an obligation, not an option.

Make no mistake, my No. 1 priority is to restore law and order. I fully intend to clean up this city within my first year. Second, education will be a priority in my administration. Recently, 287 teachers were fired. Why? How can they teach in fear of their lives and their jobs.

On privatization: Privatization of certain services elsewhere has proved effective. Again, divine direction would be sought as well as community considerations. If it would increase our unemployment lines, it would not be the moral direction to take. The more unemployment, the more crime.

On criticism in Annapolis of Baltimore's use of state money: It is unfair and politically motivated. However, I would recommend that we re-evaluate the use of such monies.

On regional cooperation, tax-base sharing and a commuter tax: It would require consideration by people far more knowledgeable than me. A good mayor knows his limitations. I would favor a commuter tax. Tax-base sharing would promote an attitude of complacency.

Roberto L. Marsili

On mayoral style and role model: Ronald Wilson Reagan and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. These presidents were the image of power and leadership. This city has a very bad attitude problem and image. My plan would be to privatize city properties laying in rubble and waste. Remove the Housing Authority of Baltimore City from the housing industry. Let private developers build high-end housing for middle- and upper-income buyers, not the likes of Sandtown. Baltimore's property taxes must be lowered to $2.80 per $100 of assessed value, putting it in line with surrounding counties. This would attract new housing construction and help return middle-income people to the city.

On privatization: I do not favor privatizing government service.

On criticism in Annapolis of Baltimore's use of state money: There are not only such critics in Annapolis, but in America. Housing and community development is corrupt to the core. In the Schmoke administration, no major organized gangs have been targeted, indicted or convicted.

David Tufaro

On mayoral style: My role model for mayor would be a composite of Republican Fiorello LaGuardia, who was mayor of New York from 1934-45, Baltimore Democrat William Donald Schaefer, Republican Mayor Stephen Goldsmith of Indianapolis, Republican New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and Democratic Philadelphia Mayor Ed Rendell.

The characteristics that made them successful include energy, a sense of urgency, courage, a willingness to make unpopular decisions to help their citizens, a willingness to challenge entrenched bureaucracies, rapport with the citizens in the neighborhoods, a focus on positive results, selection of capable, strong men and women as members of their teams, an upbeat attitude, integrity, honesty, independence, toughness and the understanding that they represent the needs of the citizens and not special interests.

I would seek input from neighborhood groups and ask them to set agendas for their areas on crime prevention, housing, commercial revitalization and education.

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