Commissioners candidate Palmer plans an aggressive campaign

July 16, 2002|by MARLO BARNHART

Always active in the county where he was born and raised, Stephen C. Palmer said he finally decided to seek public office because of the "lack of direction and leadership in this community."

Palmer, 53, is a Republican candidate for Washington County Commissioner who said he plans an aggressive campaign.

"I'm going to be out beating on doors," Palmer said.

Although Keedysville has always been home, Palmer and his wife, Celia, recently bought a farm along Spielman Road east of Williamsport. They have two children, Beth and Jeremy.

"We were actually so frustrated with Maryland, we looked in Pennsylvania, but I decided that no one was going to chase me out of my home state," Palmer said.


That frustration was born out of the neglect of issues Palmer feels are vital for Washington County and its residents. Palmer said very little is being done in the areas of conservation, youth issues and sportsmen's issues.

"I have very strong feelings about protecting our rural atmosphere, heritage and personal property rights," Palmer said.

If elected, Palmer said he would work hard to advance the mission of all those issues and put emphasis on partnering high-tech industries with education to improve the quality of life in Washington County.

"The work ethic is good here, but we need better than warehouse jobs," Palmer said. "I believe this is one of the finest places to live."

Palmer said tourism must also be promoted more aggressively and municipal services have to be improved.

"And I would like to explore a tax reduction for retiring people in this county, many of whom are moving to other states when they retire," Palmer said. Retirees tend to put money back into the community while not needing as many services, such as schools.

Tourists also spend money here, but don't demand much in the way of services, Palmer said.

"We need a convention center to draw tourists to Washington County," Palmer said. "There are two major interstates intersecting here and an airport, and we should make the most of them."

Palmer works part time as an electrician for his wife's company, Antietam Electric. He also is a gunsmith and a teacher.

President of the Washington County Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs, Palmer is also founder and chairman of the Outdoor Sports Program Inc. and the Maryland Coalition for Responsible Wildlife Management.

Gary Hovermill is serving as Palmer's treasurer.

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