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Candidate Iseminger says taxpayers can't afford overdevelopment

August 16, 2002

Bert Iseminger
53
Insurance agent for J. Edward Cochran & Co.
Democrat

232 Mealey Parkway, Hagerstown

1. Do you think the county gives the School Board enough money? Why or why not?

"County taxpayers have seen an increase in their taxes primarily to help fund education. The citizens of this county are doing their part." Iseminger said the state needs to do its part by following the recommendations of the Thornton Commission, which calls for substantial increases in state funding to local boards of education. He said more than 60 percent of the county's total budget goes to funding education and the county's top priority should be to provide the School Board with the necessary financial resources to meet its educational goals.

2. Do you support a tax to fund fire and rescue services? Why or why not?

"If necessary, taxes will have to be raised." Iseminger said the county's 27 volunteer fire and rescue companies are finding it difficult to raise the necessary funds to operate efficiently. He said because public safety is a primary responsibility of county government, the commissioners must plan for additional funding so the companies can continue to provide service. As of now, funding will come from income and property tax revenues.

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3. Should the county help fund a new baseball stadium? Why or why not?

"I would not support the use of county taxpayer dollars to fund a new stadium." Iseminger said if the project makes financial sense and there is city, state and significant private funding in place, he would support using a portion of the hotel/motel tax dollars to help build a stadium and athletic complex.

4. Should the county provide funds for additional deputies and, if so, where would the money come from?

Iseminger said he supported Sheriff Charles Mades in his recent request for county matching funds to take advantage of a federal grant to hire eight new deputies. "I have consistently supported and will continue to support the sheriff in his call for additional resources to safeguard the public." He said public safety is second only to education when it comes to allocating general fund dollars.

5. What do you believe is the biggest issue facing the county and why?

Growth and development. He said if pressure to develop increases, the potential exists for the continued loss of productive farmland, for schools to become overcrowded, the roads congested, the limited water supply depleted and critical demands placed on fire, EMS and police services.

"Taxpayers cannot afford these consequences from overdevelopment." He said the county must establish policies that will result in controlled growth and development to maintain its rural agricultural heritage and the quality of life present in the county.

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