GOP candidates gather at forum

August 19, 1998|By BRENDAN KIRBY

Twelve Republicans vying for Washington County Commissioner squared off Tuesday on the proper relationship with state and municipal government, the state of education, and the nature of the job itself.

They gave statements and responded to questions during a forum sponsored by the Washington County Republican Club at Hagerstown Community College.

Following is a sampling of the comments made by the candidates:

- Timothy A. Bonds, a correctional officer, said he would try to improve education and encourage businesses that pay higher wages to move into the county.

"I became a candidate for the simple fact that I want change," he said.

- John P. Corderman, who was a judge and a Democratic legislator, explained why he is now seeking office as a Republican.


"I don't think saying yes to everybody is what the Republican Party is known for. I think that's what the Democratic Party is known for," he said.

- Dennis L. Duffey, who ran unsuccessfully for the office four years ago, said he would be a full-time commissioner.

"We have part-time commissioners working on full-time problems," he said.

Duffey said he would focus on bringing high-paying jobs to the county.

- William M. Hornbarger II, said his priorities will be reducing the county's debt, supporting quality education and reducing taxes.

Hornbarger pledged to cut spending "in any and all possible areas," and made a promise of integrity.

"I have no special interest to achieve except to look out for the people of this county," he said.

- Political newcomer Alfred G. Lane said he supports a recent call to place the Ten Commandments in front of the county courthouse.

"I'd stand guard and make sure they stayed there," he said.

Lane said he opposes over-development and questioned the need to widen Interstate 81. He said moral issues are important.

- John C. Munson, a former Hagerstown postmaster, said he thinks more money is necessary to attract better teachers.

"At the same time, I think the board of education has to help us by checking whatever waste they may have," he said.

- John S. Shank, who is seeking re-election, said he is willing to raise taxes to improve education.

"Education, to me, has always been important," he said. "I'm not going to stand here and tell you people that your taxes won't be raised. There comes a time when these things have to be paid for."

- County Commissioners President Gregory I. Snook defended the record of the current board.

"I think we have accomplished a lot over the last four years as a group," he said.

Snook said he would focus on economic development during his next term. "We have a lot of potential for the next several years," he said.

- Andrew P. Thomas, a former teacher who works for an insurance company, said he hopes to make a positive impact on the county.

"Washington County has been great to me and I'd like to give something back," he said.

- Joseph H. Walker, who has run for a number of other elected positions, advocated broadening the tax base by taxing property that is currently exempt from taxation.

Walker also said the school board should have its own taxing authority so voters would know who to hold accountable for education problems.

- Clinton H. Wiley, who runs a Hagerstown Internet business, said working as a full-time commissioner could lead to micromanagement. Instead, he said, the commissioners should set policy. He touted his four-point plan to reduce the county's water and sewer debt.

"The best form of (leaders) we can have are those who are willing to take on issues head-on," he said.

- William J. Wivell, an accountant, said his financial background would be an asset to the County Commissioners.

Wivell said the commissioners must maintain a constant relationship with state legislators, not just meeting with them during and just before the legislative session.

"The task before us may be monumental, but it is not impossible," he said.

GOP commissioner candidates Mary Kline and Albino J. Trujillo did not attend the forum.

The forum also offered candidates for the Washington County Central Committee a chance to speak.

Allison M. Albert, Michael E. Bowman, Mark K. Boyer, Richard G. Everhart, David Nelson, Victoria "Vikki" Nelson, Siebert C. Shifler, David L. Smith, Mark D. Thomas, Paul H. Toothman, Brett R. Wilson, Seth E. Wilson and Mark E. Wolfe showed up.

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