Munson seeking county office

February 04, 1998


Staff Writer

Washington County Commissioners candidate and retired postmaster John C. Munson favors cutting spending to pay off the $55 million water and sewer debt and opposes the county tip jar law.

"Stop spending everything that isn't necessary to get rid of this sewer problem," Munson said in an interview.

Munson, 57, of Maugansville, filed as a Republican Tuesday. A cousin of state Sen. Donald F. Munson, R-Washington, he spent 30 years working for the U.S. Postal Service, including stints as postmaster in Cascade and in Middletown, Md.

He served three years in the U.S. Army.

Munson said the county should sell every piece of property it isn't using to help pay off the sewer debt. He said the county government has grown too large, with too many offices.


He said he favors selling Black Rock Golf Course, and that private enterprise could run the golf course more efficiently.

He said he opposes taxpayer funding of a new baseball stadium.

Munson said the number of cruisers in the Washington County Sheriff's Department should be cut by about half. County employees and deputies shouldn't use cruisers and other county cars for personal business or for commuting to work, he said.

He said County Commuter should have smaller buses.

Munson said he would favor a cut in the piggyback income tax and the property tax once the sewer debt is paid off.

Munson said he thinks the county tip jar law should be repealed.

"I think it's up to (tip jar operators) whether they want to give to charity. It shouldn't be mandatory. I think it's another example of government infringing on people's private lives."

On education, Munson said big raises for teachers aren't warranted.

"Teachers I think make a pretty good wage for this part of the country. The cost of living is cheaper here," he said.

Munson said teachers should get cost of living increases and starting salaries should be higher to aid in recruitment.

If elected, Munson said he would follow a strict ethics policy.

"(Commissioners) should not accept any type of gift from anybody, even if it's taking you down the street for a cup of coffee. If you want a cup of coffee, you pay for it yourself."

On economic development, Munson said the county needs to advertise to get businesses to move in, but shouldn't offer freebies or tax breaks to lure companies.

Munson said he opposes impact fees or special taxing districts on new developments and believes development pays for itself.

Munson said the county shouldn't keep asking the federal and state governments for grant money because the money ultimately comes from county taxpayers.

"If we have to give up something and live within our means, that's what we have to do," he said.

Munson is one of four Republican candidates who have filed or prefiled to run in 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 have until July 6 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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