Letters to the editor - 11/2/02

November 04, 2002

Herald-Mail is wrong; I'm the best choice for Sixth District

For a decade now, western Maryland has been represented by a politician who dislikes government and isn't interested in working as part of a team. If Roscoe Bartlett's hands-off, anti-government model of representation ever reflected our values, I think its time is over. Roscoe Bartlett represents the past.

The Washington County I know is growing, changing and moderating. I would represent it very differently, far more actively.

I would work hard as part of a team with county commissioners and mayors -- be they Republicans or Democrats -to help move the local economic agenda forward.

I'm frustrated with the lack of progress by Congress on major issues, and I think we need big changes. I would use my 25 years of experience to fight hard for those changes - I would not be a complacent back-bencher. I would especially fight to solve our national crisis - health care.


The Herald-Mail sides with those who are mired in the past. While schools are overcrowded, The Herald-Mail believes a Roscoe Bartlett lecture about whether the Department of Education is constitutional serves the best interests of our families.

While urging progress on high-priority economic development projects in Washington County, the Herald-Mail suggests we re-elect a congressman who votes against those very projects.

The Herald-Mail conveniently misplaced the local goals it set for Bartlett two years ago:

1) "Get the former Ft. Ritchie property transferred to Pen Mar Development."

2) "Get this area in line for funds to widen Interstate 81 and lengthen the runway at the Hagerstown Regional Airport."

Has Bartlett lifted a finger to fast-track I-81 or the runway? As for Ft.Ritchie, it has now been 7 years since Bartlett, a member of the Armed Services Committee, voted to close the base, and the property is still not transferred.

I've run clean, issues-oriented campaigns. I have never exaggerated the differences between Roscoe Bartlett and me, citing specific votes or public statements where I would have acted or voted differently.

I take time to read 12 district papers in order to learn all about this big district so I can talk to voters knowledgeably and be prepared to act if I am elected.

For my pains, the Herald-Mail says: "a more inspiring challenger might have captured our imagination." Heck, my goal has never been to be "inspired" - I'm willing to settle for "competent." I'll take "competent" over "inspired" any day if it yields some actual results and progress for our area.

There is a true choice in the congressional election, and I ask the voters of Washington County to vote for the future on Nov. 5.

Don DeArmon is a candidate for Maryland's Sixth District Congressional seat.

County has great record

By Paul Swartz

I have had the honor and privilege to have served this wonderful county of Washington as one of your commissioners. This group of commissioners has served you well and our county is one of a few counties in Maryland that ended the year with a surplus as compared to our state's deficit of $1.7 billion.

Fiscally responsible government means being financially responsible to the citizens and providing services at the same time. This past group of county commissioners deserves an A on its report card and your vote on Nov. 5.

I will list a few of our accomplishments:

1. University of Maryland locating in Hagerstown.

2. Began plans to expand airport runway.

3. Built library at Clear Spring (developing plans for Boonsboro and Smithsburg)

4. Downtown revitalization - District Court, parking lots, sidewalks and streets, McBare Pub restoration for The Maryland Theatre as part of the A&E district.

5. Opened new landfill.

6. Built Hancock gymnasium (Project Open Space).

7. Built new Boonesboro track (Project Open Space).

8. Utilized $2 million in Project Open Space money for countywide projects.

9. Economic development projects (Pavestone, Purina, Staples, Bowman, Garden State Tanning Headquarters relocation, Lippincott-Williams, Phoenix Color, Fuji, Fil-Tec and the development of Hopewell Valley plus many more projects).

10. Began process of widening Interstate 81.

11. Prime Outlets - Hagerstown Center, expansion of Valley Mall.

12. "Gods and Generals" movie.

13. Built Hagerstown Community College Amphitheater.

14. Purchased adjacent land for future growth of HCC.

15. Completed Agricultural Museum.

16. Built new facility for SPCA.

17. Adopted Comprehensive Plan.

18. Preserved more than 4,500 acres of land in Land and Agriculture Preservation, worth more than $9 million.

19. Developed a Debt Affordability Plan and are paying down the water-sewer debt.

20. Developed Emergency Service Plan.

21. Improved Bond Rating to A+.

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