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Morris files for commissioner

July 14, 1998|By MATTHEW BIENIEK

Eugene E. "Buddie" Morris says that despite being 75 years old, he's concerned about the young people in Washington County.

Morris, who has run for a number of state and local offices, said it is that concern that prompted him to run for a Washington County Commissioner seat.

"We'll keep taxes down by helping the young people in this community and not criticizing them," he said.

Morris, who is running as a Democrat, said keeping young people involved in county-sponsored activities will save the government money in the long run by keeping them out of trouble and thus avoiding the costs of incarceration. It costs taxpayers $29,000 a year to keep a person at the state prison, he said.

Working with young people has been an important part of his life, Morris said.

As a scoutmaster, he said, he took his troop on hikes of the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal from Cumberland, Md., to Georgetown in Washington, D.C.

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"We lived on sardines and one candy bar a day," he said of the menus on those 10-day treks.

If elected, Morris said his plans to keep kids active include a banquet to honor winners in county-sponsored Little League baseball, football, and soccer leagues.

Morris said he doesn't like the county's current approach to attracting new businesses.

Developers should pay the costs of running sewer service to the developments they expect to profit from, he said.

"I wouldn't use one penny of taxpayer money to aid a developer," he said.

Landfills are detrimental to the county's environment, he said. Instead, Morris said the county should look into the use of incinerators for waste disposal.

If elected, Morris said, he'd seek public input by forming a people's advisory committee made up of residents from across the county. He'd like the committee to advise the board on how to use county resources to best help children and youth in the county.

The Hagerstown native attended Hagerstown High School, but entered the U.S. Marines before graduation. After a number of years of active service and several more of inactive reserve service, Morris retired from the military in 1972.

Previous runs for political office by Morris since 1973 include three runs for Hagerstown City Council, three attempts for Washington County Commissioner, and four runs for mayor of Hagerstown.

Morris lives in Hagerstown at 331 Avon Road.

There are 29 candidates vying for the five Washington County Commissioner seats, including 14 Democrats, 14 Republicans and one Independent. The top five Democrats and Republicans in the Sept. 15 primary election and the Independent candidate will go on to the general election on Nov. 3.

The salary for commissioners is $20,000 a year.

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