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Candidate Swartz says education a key issue

August 26, 2002

Editor's note: Twenty-one candidates have filed for five Washington County Commissioners' seats. Ten of the candidates - five Democrats and five Republicans - will be selected as their parties' nominees in the Sept. 10 primary. The general election is Nov. 5. We asked each of the candidates the same five questions. Tomorrow: Millard "Junior" Miller

1. Do you think the county gives the school board enough money? Why or why not?

No. The county needs to develop a world-class education system and that will require more funding.

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

At the present time it is not needed but it will be necessary within 10 years simply because there will be less volunteers as some leave the volunteer fire and rescue system. Currently less than 30 percent of the population donates to the companies.

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

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Yes, but the county should only fund it through the hotel-motel tax. It needs to also be funded by private donations, as well as city and state government funding.

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

We can never have enough deputies. To pay for more deputies as well as education costs, Swartz is proposing to the state that the sales tax in Washington County be increased by 1 cent. He said the property tax rate should then be lowered by 3 cents to offset the increased sales tax.

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

Education and the University of Maryland Hagerstown Education Center. The center will hopefully spark economic development in the city and county.

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