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Former engineer is county candidate

March 09, 2006|by KAREN HANNA

Edward L. Knepper said he wants to give senior citizens and town residents tax breaks.

The Washington County Commissioners candidate said he believes the county can afford to cut taxes every two years for those ages 65 to 85. Depending on their income levels, Knepper said some seniors' taxes could be eliminated altogether.

"I would think so, because they've been carrying the burden all those years, so what we're doing is providing a little relief for them after all those years," Knepper said Thursday.

Knepper, 62, is a retired Mack Trucks engineer. He lives on Poplar Grove Road in the Smithsburg-Leitersburg area with his wife, Barbara.

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Others who have filed to run for a County Commissioners seat are former Commissioner Paul Swartz of Maugansville; retired Washington County employee John Weller of Hagerstown; Nathan Green, who lives near Hagerstown; and Michael Spinnler of Hagerstown. The election is in November.

Knepper said he would like to start town hall-style meetings so citizens in areas throughout the county can share their concerns and suggestions with the commissioners.

"Priorities would be listening to the people," Knepper said. "If it isn't good for the citizens of Washington County, don't do it."

Knepper said he would like to give tax breaks to people who live in towns since they already pay taxes to their towns. The plan would encourage people to stay in town, Knepper said.

Knepper said he would like to make the permitting process more accessible to homeowners by establishing online access and extending the hours of operation.

He said education would be one of his highest priorities, and he would support lowering the student-teacher ratios in schools and expanding the career studies program.

Knepper worked for 37 years at Mack Trucks and is active in the Ringgold Church of Christ. He also has volunteered for the Religious Effort to Assist and Care for the Homeless (REACH).

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