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Wiley enters race for county office

April 02, 1998|By STEVEN T. DENNIS

Clint Wiley of Hagerstown announced Tuesday that he will run as a Republican for Washington County Commissioner.

Wiley said in an interview that his campaign will focus on improving education, cutting taxes and bureaucracy and fighting crime.

Wiley, 28, owns New Frontiers Internet Services, which now has about 1,000 customers in Washington and Frederick counties.

Wiley said he favors rolling back the commissioners' 10-cent 1997 property tax increase.

The expected $4 million county budget surplus this year proves that the $2.5 million tax increase wasn't necessary, he said.

Wiley said he opposes creation of a special taxing district for the Hopewell Valley area targeted for industrial growth.

Wiley said he would work to end the bickering between the Washington County Board of Education and the commissioners.

"Our economy is going to shrivel up and die or prosper with our school system," he said.

Wiley said the county must provide competitive starting salaries and convert teachers' salaries to a merit-pay system.

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"Some teachers once they get tenure put their feet up and use the same lesson plan year after year," he said.

The county also needs to be friendly to business, he said.

Area architects and engineers tell horror stories about new businesses not locating in the county because of excessive red tape, he said.

He suggested consolidating the secretarial staff in the county administration building to increase efficiency.

On crime, Wiley said he would urge county judges to make sure criminals serve their entire sentences to send a message to drug dealers and others to avoid Washington County.

Low-cost, temporary jail space could be constructed to house additional prisoners if needed, he said.

Wiley said he considers a new stadium for the Hagerstown Suns a poor economic investment and a dead issue.

On water and sewer, Wiley said there are no easy answers. Restructuring and refinancing the county's debt, possibly by issuing 40-year bonds, could save money, he said.

Wiley earned a bachelor's degree in political science from Marist College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

He teaches Internet-related courses at Hagerstown Junior College.

He is a member of the Greater Hagerstown Education Task Force, the HJC Technology Advisory Board, the Board of Education Staff Development committee and the Discovery Station Board of Directors.

He lives with his wife Patti in the east end of Hagerstown.

Candidates have until July 6 to file for commissioner. The primary election is Sept. 15 and the general election Nov. 3. The job pays $20,000 a year.

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