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Bonds enters race for county office

January 16, 1998

By STEVEN T. DENNIS

Staff Writer

Washington County commissioner candidate Timothy A. Bonds said he would freeze county salaries and use surplus funds to help pay off the county's $55 million water and sewer debt.

"We need to try and reduce that debt. The interest must be astronomical," said Bonds, a correctional officer at Maryland Correctional Training Center.

"I don't think anybody should get a bonus or a pay raise or anything until that's taken care of," Bonds said.

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Bonds, who's running as a Republican, said he would also try new ways to cut the sewer debt, including placing canisters at local businesses asking for donations.

"I'm sure people would put their spare change in there."

He also said he would favor using tip jar money to pay off the sewer debt instead of using it for charities. He said he also favored increasing the percentage of tip jar profits that clubs must pay to the county Gaming Commission to help pay off the sewer debt.

Bonds, 30, also serves as a specialist in the Army National Guard. A graduate of North Hagerstown High School, he's taking classes at Frostburg State University and majoring in accounting.

Bonds also criticized Superintendent Herman G. Bartlett Jr.'s salary of $105,000 as "outrageous."

"We need to get back to basics," he said. Bonds said teachers should be making more than administrators, not the other way around.

Bonds, who has three children and another on the way, said he cares about education and would work to make sure schools had the equipment and supplies they needed.

Bonds also said that the county also had more than enough police. "I'm a firm believer in a non-police state," he said. "I don't believe in a police-controlled society."

He said the deputies should be given the best equipment and training, and said he would be in favor of expanding the county jail if needed.

"I don't believe in criminals being on the streets, especially when I've got children."

Bonds said he would knock on doors and ask people what they would want him to do as a County Commissioner.

"I believe the government is for the people and by the people," he said.

Bonds said he would be able to work with other commissioners.

"Politics is about coming to a mutual agreement between everybody. Nobody wins in a fight," he said.

He also said taxes are too high but said he didn't know yet which programs he would cut to lower them.

Bonds said he would consider hiring his relatives as long as they met the job qualifications but would hold them to a higher standard than other applicants.

Bonds has been working at the state prison for three and a half years. He also served in the Army as a specialist for three years of active duty. He was stationed in Germany during the Persian Gulf War, and is a member of the American Legion, AMVETS and several local clubs.

Bonds is one of three Republican candidates who have filed or prefiled for the commissioners' race. A Democrat also has filed, and two incumbents, Democrat Ronald L. Bowers and Republican James R. Wade, have said they're running.

Candidates for Washington County Commissioner have until July 6, 1998 to file.

The primary election is Sept. 15 and the general election is Nov. 3. The job pays $20,000 a year.

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