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Munson files for re-election

June 28, 2006|by PEPPER BALLARD

HAGERSTOWN

Washington County Commissioner John C. Munson on Tuesday filed to seek re-election to a second term, saying growth control and overcrowded schools are the biggest issues he will tackle if elected to serve another four years.

Munson, 65, a Republican, is the second of the incumbents - behind Commissioner Doris J. Nipps - to file for re-election, joining a list that includes 11 other hopefuls for the five open seats.

So far, Munson and Nipps will face Republicans Terry Baker, John F. Barr, W. Edward Forrest, Nathan Alan Green, Jeff Hewett and Edward L. Knepper in their party's Sept. 12 primary.

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Democrats Donna L. Brightman, Mike Spinnler, Paul L. Swartz, Lloyd "Pete" Waters and John E. Weller have filed to run in the Democratic primary.

The deadline to file is Monday. The general election is Nov. 7.

Munson, of 17817 Bluebell Drive in Maugansville, suggested growth occur in areas where water and sewer connections are adequate and where schools can take on the new students developments would create.

"We can require developers to make schools adequate by either offering land or building them," he said. "I think we ought to require them to build the schools to Board of Education standards."

"I know you can't stop growth, it would be illegal to stop growth ... but you can control it," he said.

Munson said he is most proud that commissioners approved the building of three schools, "fully funded" the county Sheriff's Department and refused to raise property taxes in the past four years, at the same time lowering the assessment cap on new homes from 10 percent to 5 percent.

Spending on road repairs has increased from around $1 million a year to $5 million a year since he's become a commissioner, which he said is a positive increase, considering there are 830 miles of county roads and residents "want decent roads."

The Washington County Board of Education is "doing such a good job" increasing test scores in schools and using less money to educate a single student than larger counties, he said.

He said he considers himself readily available to his constituents.

"I respond to every phone call from people having problems and 99 percent of the time, I can help them or at least find someone who can help them," he said. "They call me at home at all hours, too. That's OK. That's my job."

A postmaster for 10 years, Munson retired after 30 years with the U.S. Postal Service.

Married to Audrey Munson for nearly 39 years, Munson has one son, John C. Munson Jr.

"I want to continue to make Washington County a better place for everybody to live," he said.

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