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Council candidate Q&A - Boyer

May 11, 2001

Council candidate Q&A - Boyer

* Republican council candidate, incumbent

Alfred W. Boyer, 65, 1142 The Terrace, Council member since 1997, retired external affairs manager for Western Maryland for Bell Atlantic, now Verizon.

Q: What are your qualifications to serve as a City Council member?

A: I have served the past four years as a City Council member. My experience provides insight to the workings of city government and has acquainted me with staff members and their responsibilities. My prior employment with Bell Atlantic gave me 10 years experience as a liaison in local government affairs.

If I am fortunate enough to be reelected, I can hit the road running and continue moving the city forward in a progressive direction.

Q: Is there a crime problem in Hagerstown? If so, what is it and what should be done to address it?

A: It's a matter of perception. Compared to what? Clear Spring? Or Baltimore? Our streets are safe to walk and drive without fear of attack. Our neighborhoods are secure and well protected as a result of a well trained and managed police department, and a system that deals effectively with perpetrators.


Yes, we have a drug trade problem. We must continue providing adequate police staffing and resources to effectively combat this element.

However, this must be done through balancing resources with available funding. I support a no tolerance policy, involving citizens, new police tactics and enforcement methods that utilize new technology.

Q: Should the city be involved in assisting with homeownership? Why or why not, and if so, how?

A: Yes. The rental to owner ratio in the City is 60/40. This is far above the national average and with a little help renters can become owners.

In 1985 the Hagerstown Redevelopment Authority was established to administer loan programs to assist property owners with rehabilitation and demolition of buildings to upgrade and improve neighborhoods. Many low income families pay rents that are equal to mortgage payments. Through this program low interest second mortgage loans help cover settlement costs. The Home Store helps them work through difficult settlement processes. The program is funded with federal grant money not city taxes.

Q: Should there be a referendum on funding for a new or significantly renovated minor league baseball stadium? Why or why not?

A: I don't think this is necessary. Many issues are controversial requiring public hearing, debate and compromise for common ground. Referendum is expensive, time consuming and stifling to progress. I would prefer working together for the purpose of finding solutions acceptable to the majority. I doubt many projects move forward void of opposition. Therefore, finding common ground that satisfies the majority is preferable.

Q: How will you ensure that city services - such as police and fire protection - will continue at a reasonable rate to taxpayers?

A: I firmly believe in balancing the budget without tax increases. Government must live within it's means and discontinue spending what it doesn't have.

This is over simplification of a complex task. Citizens want and expect services while revenues may lag far behind the costs of providing services. Creativity is needed to find ways to enhance revenues or reduce costs to levels that support public safety, our number one priority.

I intend to build the tax base by assisting existing business growth and helping new business ventures succeed. If this is inadequate, expense reduction must be implemented.

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