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Candidate says she'll fight overdevelopment

July 10, 2002|by TARA REILLY

tarar@herald-mail.com

Constance S. Cramer said Monday she moved to Washington County a year ago to get away from increased development, high taxes and traffic congestion in Frederick County, Md.

Now she said she's afraid the same problems are cropping up here, which prompted her to enter the race for a seat on the Washington County Board of Commissioners.

Cramer, 53, will be facing seven other Democrats in the Sept. 10 primary election. Fourteen candidates are running on the Republican ticket.

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All five county commissioner seats are open.

She said one of her goals, if elected, is to keep the cost of living in Washington County affordable.

"I listen to the people," Cramer said. "I'm in their shoes like they are, and their concerns are can they afford to live?"

Cramer lives at 17911 Hickory Lane in Hagerstown with her husband, Charles "Pete" Cramer. She is a master cosmetologist at J.C. Penney at Valley Mall.

She has three grown sons, Jason, Matt and Luke McCollum, and two grandchildren.

Cramer said she lost a bid for Frederick City alderman a few years ago, but then became campaign headquarters chairwoman for a Frederick mayoral race.

She said she'd try to bring skilled labor jobs to Washington County to improve the quality of life and keep an eye on the budget to prevent tax hikes.

"I would like to prevent it," she said. "Before taxes are raised, people are going to have to have the jobs and the income to pay them."

She also said an affordable cost of living and competitive wages would attract teachers to the county.

"We're losing good teachers to other counties, and if the cost of living goes up, we're going to lose more," Cramer said.

One way to keep the cost of living down, she said, is to keep development under control.

She said if Washington County becomes burdened with overdevelopment, schools will be crowded and taxes will go up, making it difficult for families to support themselves.

"Everything escalates except for the salaries," Cramer said. "We need to create jobs before we put 900 homes in somewhere."

Cramer will run against Democrats Jim Brown, J. Herbert Hardin, Bert L. Iseminger, Ira P. Kauffman, Millard "Junior" Miller, Kurt Redenbo and Paul L. Swartz in September's primary election.

Iseminger and Swartz are incumbents.

The general election is Nov. 5.

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