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Knight running for county commission

July 05, 1998|By LISA GRAYBEAL

If things were running smoothly in Washington County government, Delmas "Lonzo" Knight said he wouldn't be running for county commissioner.

But the county's $53 million water and sewer debt and continuous tax increases are obvious testimonies that change is needed in local government, he said.

Knight, 48, of Mt. Lock Hill Road, Sharpsburg, said he decided to add his name to the long list of candidates Thursday as a representative of the long-ignored working class.

"Working people are being taxed to death. That has to stop. Somebody needs to be in there supporting the working people," Knight said, who will run as a Democrat.

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A Washington County native, Knight drove trucks for about six years after graduating from Boonsboro High School. He was then hired as an operator at Eastalco Aluminum Company in Buckeystown, Md., where he's been employed for nearly 25 years.

A political newcomer, Knight said he's relying on his life of hard work and his knowledge of right and wrong to win votes over the candidates who have experience in government.

"I grew up here. I take a lot of pride in this county. I don't like to see it being run into the ground," he said.

It's the $53 million water and sewer debt and a county population that has been taxed to the limit that Knight blames for "crippling" the county.

"There are people here just barely existing. People can't be taxed anymore," he said.

But dipping into the county's general fund isn't the solution to reducing the debt either because it's poor policy to weaken one account to help out the other, Knight said.

Reducing the debt isn't going to happen overnight, he said. It's going to take years of bringing higher-paying jobs to the area, tightening spending, and other methods to turn it back around, Knight said.

That means spending tax dollars on a new stadium shouldn't even be considered, he said.

"We can put money in, but what do we get coming back?" he asked.

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