Hardin thinks growth is good for county

July 12, 2002|by TARA REILLY

Washington County Commissioner candidate J. Herbert Hardin said he supports development in the county because it will help hold the line on taxes down the road, the Democrat said.

Hardin, 67, who is in his fourth year on the Washington County Board of Education, said he wants to be a commissioner because he is ready to tackle all issues in the county, not just those that involve the School Board.

"I'm not in it for any special interest group or any individual," Hardin, a Democrat, said.

One of the issues the county cannot escape from is development, he said.

"I think growth will happen with or without the restrictions that we put on it," Hardin said. "I think growth is good for our county. I think it will be a tax-saver in the end.


"The more people we have with good incomes in the county, the less chance there would be for higher taxes."

He said he favors the construction of larger homes rather than one- or two-bedroom houses, because the bigger homes would encourage homeownership. He said the smaller units would attract renters.

"I think the city and the county need more homeowners," he said.

Hardin, of 19727 Meadowbrook Road, will be running in Sept. 10's primary election for Washington County Commissioner against seven other Democrats.

Thirteen Republicans are also running. All five commissioner seats are open.

Hardin said that while some may question whether he's running for commissioner just to beef up the education budget, he said he has the best interests of the county on his mind.

He said the commissioners should study the needs of the Washington County Sheriff's Department and the county's fire and rescue companies and then consider ways to support them.

"They're out there putting their lives on the line daily," Hardin said.

He said he'd also consider adding more deputies to the Sheriff's Department if elected.

Hardin said he'd visit other parts of Maryland and other states looking for new or better ways to conduct county business.

"We need to continuously look for ways to improve our quality of life in Washington County," he said.

Hardin has been involved with education for 44 years, starting out as a health and physical education teacher in Warfordsburg, Pa., in 1958.

He moved to Washington County in 1968 and taught social studies at Smithsburg High School. He became vice principal at South Hagerstown High School in 1971 and eventually worked his way up to principal of Williamsport High School in 1993.

He retired as an administrator in 1997. He is married to Marion, and they have three children, Cynthia, Brian and Stacey, and three grandchildren.

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