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Russell focuses on issues

July 16, 2002|by TARA REILLY

tarar@herald-mail.com

William R. Russell thinks development in the county should be slowed down, the Sheriff's Department needs more deputies and the Board of Education has too many high-ranking administrators - issues he will focus on if elected a Washington County Commissioner.

"I think we're growing way too fast," said Russell, a Republican. "We just got to have some smart growth. We can't just have houses and apartments built everywhere."

Russell, 38, said he moved to Washington County from Charles County 12 years ago and has noticed that acres of farmland have been sucked up by development since then.

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"A lot of the farmland is gone," he said.

Russell, a stay-at-home father, said he has the time to put a full-time effort into the Board of County Commissioners if elected.

"You have to go into it 110 percent," Russell said. "To do a good job, you really got to look at it as a full-time position, not a part-time."

Russell, who lives at 13226 Club Road, said he thinks the Washington County Sheriff's Department is understaffed.

"I would say definitely they need more deputies," Russell said. "For this size county, they do not have near enough. There's ... nowhere near enough on the road."

On the other hand, he said he thinks the School Board is overstaffed with administrators.

"I think the Board of Education needs to be looked at a little bit closer than it has been," Russell said. "To put it bluntly, I think they got too many chiefs."

Russell, who is running for public office for the first time, serves as chair of Washington County Head Start's policy council and is on Head Start's Board of Directors.

If elected, Russell said he'd step down from the board to prevent possible conflicts with the Hatch Act, a federal law that prevents government employees from being paid with or overseeing federal money.

Republican candidate Jenny Belliotti pulled out of the race last week after uncertainty about whether regulations in the Hatch Act would prevent her from being chairwoman of the Washington County Community Partnership Board and holding public office.

The general election is Nov. 5. All five commissioner seats are open. The post will pay $30,000 beginning next year.

Russell and his wife, Janie, have three children.

"I'm concerned about the whole county in general, not just one part," he said.

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