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Strike against stadium?

Most candidates balk at spending tax money for new facility

Most candidates balk at spending tax money for new facility

August 18, 2002|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

andrews@herald-mail.com

A majority of the 21 Washington County Commissioner candidates oppose using hotel-motel tax revenue to pay for a new stadium for the Hagerstown Suns.

In a survey last week, 12 candidates said they would not support drawing from the county's hotel-motel tax fund, while six said they would.

Two candidates had not made up their mind. Among them is J. Wallace McClure, a Republican who vehemently opposed a government-funded new stadium while serving on the Hagerstown City Council.

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Democratic candidate Jim Brown would not comment on using the hotel-motel tax or on building a new stadium because there is no current proposal for one.

"People are manufacturing an issue that's not here," said Brown, who served on the Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce stadium task force.

Thirteen Republicans and eight Democrats are running in the Sept. 10 primary. Four candidates are incumbents. All five seats on the county commission will be open in the Nov. 5 general election.

None of the 21 candidates objected to a new stadium if it were built with private money, but several questioned whether a stadium is necessary.

"No, I don't believe we need a new stadium," Republican Vikki Nelson said. "The stadium that we now have is a wonderful stadium. It is in a community easily accessible. It was recently renovated ..."

"There are greater needs now," such as education and public safety, Republican Ron Rowe said.

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