Bel Air picks

November 01, 2011

Bel Air voters have five very good candidates to choose from when they go to the polls Tuesday, Nov. 8, to pick three people to serve on the town board for the next four years.

These are the people who will be making decisions about such things as trash collection, street paving, parking, police and public safety administration and property tax rates, to name a few. Their actions have a real and substantial impact on the roughly 10,000 people who live in the Bel Air town limits.

Unfortunately, if past performance is any indication, only a fraction of the people who could vote actually will, but that's a subject for another day.

For those who will vote, those of us who have had a front row seat to public policy making in the county seat have a few observations and suggestions.

All three incumbents are seeking re-election and, while the town has been run fairly efficiently, we're of the opinion that two of the three — Eddie Hopkins and Rob Reier — have what it takes to make a government work. The third incumbent, Terence Hanley, has proven himself to be willing to challenge public policy proposals that aren't particularly well conceived. Unfortunately, he has time and again proven himself to be something of a political party of one when it comes to taking on key public policy issues.

In a town run by what amounts to a five-member legislature, having a single member unable to build a coalition of more than one is counter-productive. While his willingness to be heard gives him something of a reason for deserving a vote, there are two other viable candidates who could be better choices, Greg Adolph and Susan Burdette.

Both have experiences that would translate well to setting the direction for the town government, but we give the edge to Burdette in no small measure because of her stated position that she regards keeping the town's finances in check would be an important part of her job.

In short, when voters cast ballots between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. Tuesday at town hall, we suggest they support Eddie Hopkins, Rob Reier and Susan Burdette.

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