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Lead paint topic of assembly candidate forum

October 16, 1998|By JULIE E. GREENE

Candidates for seats in the Maryland General Assembly were asked what they would do about lead paint regulations to preserve property values at a candidate forum on Friday morning at Hagerstown Community College.

Nine candidates for Maryland General Assembly and a spokeswoman for another candidate attended the forum, which was sponsored by the Pen-Mar Regional Association of REALTORS Inc. and the Home Builders Association of Washington County.

Incumbent State Sen. Donald F. Munson, a Republican, and incumbent Del. John P. Donoghue, a Democrat, declined to attend, moderator Roger Fairbourn said.

Donoghue is guaranteed to retain his District 2C seat in the House of Delegates since he won the Democratic nomination in the primary and the Republican Central Committee chose not to appoint a challenger for the Nov. 3 general election.

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Munson is guaranteed his District 2 Senate seat back since the Democratic Central Committee didn't appoint anyone to run against him.

Only a few people were in the audience for Friday's forum.

The candidates also were asked whether they favor more impact fees in Washington County and what they would do to reduce the county's $53 million sewer debt.

House of Delegates race for District 2B:




Incumbent D. Bruce Poole, Democrat, said lead paint regulations should be limited so they only apply to families with kids 6 years old and younger. He said he can't expect people on fixed incomes to pay increased water and sewer rates and not have developers pay their share. To reduce the sewer debt, more people need to hook up to water and sewer, and maintain and upgrade roads to attract new industry.

Chris B. Shank, Republican, said the county should be exempt from lead paint regulations, the county's adequate public facilities law is needed so developers pay for roads and development projects, and the state should help pay off the county's sewer debt.

Three seats are open in the House of Delegates race for District 3:




Incumbent C. Sue Hecht, Democrat, said she supports a tax break to help property owners comply with lead paint regulations and would help increase business opportunities to reduce the sewer debt. She said she has seen negative results in Frederick, where impact fees weren't required.

David P. Koontz, Democrat, said he would restructure lead paint regulations so the number of inspections are reduced and certain areas or properties - one-bedroom apartments, are exempt. He supports using state funds to reduce the sewer debt and would leave impact fees up to the Washington County Commissioners.

Richard L. Stup, Democrat, said legislators and homeowners need to work together to solve problems with lead paint regulations. He said impact fees aren't the answer for everything and are not good for business, and he would try to get state and federal funds to reduce the sewer debt.

Joseph R. Bartlett, Republican, said he would work to find a fair solution to the problems with lead paint regulations, support impact fees as long as the money goes toward infrastructure, and would work to reduce the sewer debt.

William Castle, Republican, was on the West Coast on business. His campaign manager, Jane Korotky, did not comment on the specific issues raised, but said he was pro-business and for keeping government off citizens' backs.

Incumbent Louise Snodgrass, Republican, said she voted to repeal lead paint regulations as well as tried to make Washington County exempt. She said impact fees worked well in Middletown, Md., and she supported them in Frederick County, and she opposes any new sewer debt.

State Senate race for District 3:




Ronald S. Bird, Democrat, said problems with lead paint regulations should be handled through a cooperative effort with developers and builders. He thinks impact fees and the county's sewer debt are local issues.

Alex X. Mooney, Republican, said "big government shoved" lead paint regulations "down our throat." He said he would seek state funds to reduce the sewer debt and leave the decision on impact fees to the commissioners.

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