In 1st District, it's newcomer vs. incumbent

Moxley says he has projects to finish, while Kapusinski wants focus on technology

Maryland Votes 2006

18 Days Until Nov. 7

October 20, 2006|By Josh Mitchell | Josh Mitchell,SUN REPORTER

Republican Baltimore County Council candidate George T. Kapusinski is an information technology manager with no political experience to speak of, hoping to unseat a well-financed, 12-year incumbent.

He knows it won't be easy, and that's why this summer he got hold of a pamphlet, How to Win a Local Race.

A central tenet: Knock on as many doors as possible.

"I've worn out three pairs of shoes," he said at his office last week, adding that he's lost 10 pounds since the start of his campaign.

The Democratic incumbent is Councilman Stephen G. Samuel Moxley, who says his work to limit growth and increase school funding in the council's 1st District should earn him a fourth term.

Both candidates are Catonsville residents running in a district that covers the southwestern area of the county, including the communities of Catonsville and Arbutus.

Moxley, 47, a surety bond underwriter, said he is running for re-election because he wants to complete several unfinished projects, including more school construction. He said he has worked with County Executive James T. Smith Jr. to set aside money for additions to Catonsville Middle and Hillcrest Elementary schools.

Overall, life in the district has improved since he took office, Moxley said.

"We have redeveloped many of our older neighborhoods, through alleys, curbs and gutters, putting in community playgrounds, so that the quality of life has changed," he said.

One of his biggest accomplishments, he said, was making zoning changes on the University of Maryland, Baltimore County campus that paved the way for development of a research park.

He also pointed to legislation he worked on that now requires county planners to consider projects in conjunction with existing plans in determining their potential impact on schools, roads and police.

"We'll continue to fund our police so they have not only the best equipment there is, but that they have a decent salary so that we don't have a constant turnover of police officers," Moxley said.

Moxley has a nearly 11-to-1 advantage in campaign money, with $82,000 in the bank as of September, over his opponent, according to campaign finance records.

But one sore spot for Moxley is his 2005 arrest on a drunken driving charge. He had driven his county-owned vehicle into a stopped car on Interstate 695, and then refused to take a breath test when an officer arrived, according to a police report.

Moxley, who was granted probation before judgment after agreeing to abstain from alcohol and attend a victim impact panel, has publicly apologized for the incident and said he was grateful that no one was injured.

Moxley said he has given numerous speeches to young people about his mistake.

Kapusinski said the arrest sets a bad example, and he has posted a link on his campaign Web site that says, "Read the Shocking Arrest Report that our Councilman Doesn't Want You to See (Warning: Contains Offensive Language)."

Kapusinski, 40, is a New Jersey native who moved to the county five years ago.

He said he has given thought to running for office but first got serious about it several years ago after a snowstorm. He said he called Moxley's office to see when his street would be plowed and was not satisfied with the response.

Eventually he and his neighbors shoveled the street on their own, he said.

"I started to think, if that's the response a normal citizen gets, there's something wrong here," Kapusinski said.

He says he has been a member of police advisory boards and, concerned about crime in the district, says that public safety would be his top priority.

He said he would work to increase police resources, ensuring that all officers had take-home police cars and devices that allowed them to quickly scan license plates for background checks.

Kapusinksi, who said he attended Catholic University in Washington as an undergraduate and earned a masters in business administration from Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio, said he would also work to move a lot of county administrative tasks to the Internet.

In his current job, he strives for efficiency, he says, even if it means analyzing the best location for a printer in one's office, he said.

"I read the average worker loses two weeks a year in having to reboot his computer," he said. "I've always been interested in how technology can make our lives easier in a productive way."

josh.mitchell@baltsun.com

FIRST DISTRICT CANDIDATES

Name: George T. Kapusinski

Republican

Age: 40

Address: Catonsville

Education: Catholic University in Washington, master's in business administration from Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio.

Occupation: Information technology manager

Stephen G. Samuel Moxley

Democrat

Age: 47

Address: Catonsville

Education: Loyola College, 1981, University of Baltimore Law School, 1991.

Occupation: surety bond underwriter

Political experience: Member Democratic central committee 1982-1994, first elected to the County Council in 1994, re-elected in 1998 and 2002. Chairman of the council in 1998, 2001, and 2004.

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