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Police chief to run for Commissioner

June 12, 2006|by KAREN HANNA

BOONSBORO

Washington County must find a way to balance the increasing demand for services with the strain residents are feeling from rising tax assessments, a candidate for County Commissioner said Sunday.

About a year after taking over as Boonsboro's top law-enforcement officer, Police Chief Jeff Hewett announced he is running as a Republican for County Commissioner.

"I just think that this county, with the growth of the county, there's going to be a lot of challenges facing the county," Hewett said.

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All five County Commissioner seats are up for election this fall.

The deadline to file is July 3. The primary election is Sept. 12; the general election is Nov. 7.

New housing should be concentrated in municipal areas that have the infrastructure to deal with residential population increases, Hewett said.

"If we're going to have development, let's keep it to the areas where we can support it," he said.

A retired Maryland State Police criminal investigator, Hewett was named chief of Boonsboro Police Department when the agency was formed last summer. Between his retirement in 1999 and the establishment of the town's police department, Hewett said he served Boonsboro as a resident deputy with the Washington County Sheriff's Department.

The 47-year-old father of three, who lives with his wife of 23 years in the Sharpsburg-Keedysville area, said he plans to continue working as chief if he is elected.

Hewett said the County Commissioners should lobby the state for more State Police troopers, and they should offer tax incentives to developers willing to provide housing for senior citizens and people with moderate incomes.

He said the County Commissioners need to examine how the money is spent and relieve the burden on taxpayers, especially senior citizens.

"I think we need to examine closer where the money's being spent - (Washington County) Board of Education being a prime example," Hewett said. "Again, we shouldn't have kids sitting in hallways for class when funds are going to support projects that don't directly affect the kids."

He said the County Commissioners should look into obtaining state money to purchase farmland and protect green space. Though the county cannot stop growth, it should work to control it, he said.

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