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Tuckwell seeks commissioners seat

January 07, 1998

Tuckwell seeks commissioners seat

By STEVEN T. DENNIS

Staff Writer

Sue Tuckwell announced Wednesday that she's running for Washington County commissioner and resigning as chairman of the Gaming Commission.

Tuckwell, running as a Democrat, told about 60 supporters at the Four Points Hotel on Dual Highway that she would maintain the highest ethical standard if elected.

"No county commissioner should participate in a decision or engage in an activity that gives the slightest appearance of impropriety. Neither should any employee," she said.

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"I will not accept preferred treatment to sporting events or other activities that involve people or organizations seeking to do business with the county. And I will not use my influence to secure full- or part-time employment for any member of my family.

"There must be an end to favoritism, cronyism and nepotism," she said.

Tuckwell, 46, said she also would focus on education, economic development and domestic violence.

She said she supported higher teacher salaries and smaller class sizes, without increasing taxes.

"It would be foolish to declare that a tax increase is the answer in a year of local and state budget surpluses, just as it would be foolish to declare that having students pay for their textbooks is the answer," she said.

"As long as Washington County ranks 22nd lowest out of 24 jurisdictions in the state for teacher salaries, it is no wonder that our qualified local teachers would want to seek employment in nearby Waynesboro, Pa., where teachers are paid $7,000 to $9,000 more."

Tuckwell said economic development is important but said the county doesn't need business at any cost. She cited the Tempico medical waste treatment plant, which was first supported and then rejected by the Washington County Commissioners, as an example of a business the county didn't need.

On water and sewer, Tuckwell said she didn't have any easy answers. She said some solutions that should be considered include fees on undeveloped land, impact fees and regional cooperation with the City of Hagerstown.

Tuckwell, who was the first president of the Washington County Commission for Women, said women don't have enough protection against domestic violence, and said she would lobby for change.

Tuckwell said perpetrators can be detained for only a two-hour cooling off period and protective orders are only issued during business hours.

Tuckwell, a Fountainhead resident, is a former president of the Maryland Theatre and has held numerous positions with local volunteer organizations, including the United Way.

She is the wife of Barry Tuckwell, music director and conductor of the Maryland Symphony Orchestra.

She has a bachelor's degree in journalism and a master's in business administration.

She had worked at Potomac Edison for 10 years, including six years as director of customer relations, overseeing a department with a $12 million budget.

In 1975, Tuckwell became the first woman sports writer at the Morning Herald and in 1976 became the first woman sports writer at the Baltimore Sun.

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