Education tops the platforms of 33B candidates

Democrat Chaney wants to expand preschool plans

Newly formed district

GOP's Costa emphasizes teacher specialization

Election 2002

Anne Arundel

October 28, 2002|By Amanda Urban | Amanda Urban,SUN STAFF

Democrat Dorothy D. Chaney and Republican Robert A. Costa - who are facing off to represent the newly formed District 33B in the House of Delegates - list education and suburban sprawl as top priorities in a large district that includes most of southern Anne Arundel County and some Annapolis suburbs.

The district extends north from the Anne Arundel County-Calvert County line and includes Rose Haven, Lothian and Harwood and part of Edgewater. It also includes neighborhoods north of U.S. 50 such as Rolling Knolls, Epping Forest and Sherwood Forest.

Chaney, 59, is a speech-language pathologist with an interest in early childhood education. She wants to expand preschool programs in the county.

"Studies have shown that for every dollar spent on preschool programs, $7 are saved later" in terms of future educational costs and "loss of human potential," said Chaney, who has served on the Anne Arundel County school board and the state's Higher Education Commission.

She also would like to see more time and effort invested in training teachers, especially in light of what she called a severe teacher shortage. She also is an advocate of smaller classes. Chaney, of Lothian, has been endorsed by the Maryland State Teachers Association. She ran unsuccessfully for County Council in 1994.

Chaney, who said she knocked on thousands of doors during her campaign, lists sprawl and traffic as concerns of residents and says she would like public transportation to be expanded. She also puts health care - particularly a patients' bill of rights that would allow people to choose their doctors - at the top of her list of priorities.

"Everyone in Maryland should have access to quality, affordable health care," she said.

Campaign finance reports filed Aug. 30 show that Chaney had raised $58,699.

Costa, of Deale, wants teachers to make a commitment to teach a specific subject area, as proposed by the federal No Child Left Behind Act. He is in favor of teachers who are trained to teach specific subjects receiving grants to help them repay their student loans and would support an increase in salary for them.

Costa, 49, would like to see farmland preservation expanded, specifically by lowering the 50-acre minimum required for participation in the state's land-preservation program.

He is a professional firefighter in Anne Arundel County who has lobbied the General Assembly on behalf of firefighters. Costa wants to reduce government spending and lower taxes, particularly for the elderly.

"We are losing too many of our parents and grandparents to tax-free states," he said. He proposes property tax exemptions on primary residences for people who are older than age 65 and have lived in the same house for more than 30 years.

Costa was elected to the Republican Central Committee in 1998 and was chairman of the committee in 1999. He resigned to campaign for the House of Delegates. He has been endorsed by the National Federation of Independent Businesses and Maryland Right to Life.

Costa had raised $30,452, according to campaign finance reports made available Friday.

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