Kauffman running for County Commissioners seat

August 20, 2002|by TARA REILLY

Democrat Ira Kauffman said the Washington County Commissioners should encourage manufacturing companies to relocate to the county, which would create jobs that bring higher wages to the area.

Kauffman, who last week filed to run for a Washington County Commissioners seat, said that's one of the issues he would push if elected.

"Get them in here and we can really and truly move ahead," Kauffman, 69, said.

Kauffman, who served as a Hagerstown City Council member from 1977-81, said he decided to run for commissioner because he still has a strong interest in local government.


A Hagerstown native, Kauffman lives at 1009 Lindsay Lane with his wife, Nancy. He retired in 1998 from the Central Intelligence Agency.

Kauffman said he considers himself a fiscal conservative and opposes raising taxes. He said he thinks county government has expanded too rapidly and should become more efficient in its current operations.

Kauffman said he supports limiting growth in the county and would support halting new development if the county becomes overburdened with it.

"We have to put a hold on rapid development," Kauffman said. "I do not want Washington County winding up like Frederick County (Md.)."

He said if new development overruns Washington County, residents would face inadequate water supplies and other problems.

Kauffman said the commissioners should play a bigger role in making sure the county's fire and rescue companies are providing sufficient services, and should analyze the Washington County Sheriff's Department budget to ensure it's adequately funded.

"They're doing a good job with what they got, but it's something that has to be looked at next budget," he said.

Kauffman said that as a commissioner, he would make a strong effort to boost the salaries of teachers and others who assist with instruction.

"In our school system, we pay too much attention to the administrative end at Commonwealth Avenue, and not enough attention to the teachers," Kauffman said. "This is where the emphasis should be."

All five county commissioner seats are open. Commissioner Vice President Paul Swartz and Commissioner Bert Iseminger, both Democrats, and Commissioner President Greg Snook, a Republican, have filed for re-election.

Commissioner John Schnebly decided not to run again, and Commissioner Bill Wivell has not yet refiled.

The deadline to file for the commissioners race is July 1.

In addition to Swartz and Iseminger, Kauffman will face Millard "Junior" Miller Jr. in the Sept. 10 primary election if no other Democrats file by the deadline.

The general election is Nov. 5.

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